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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09CONAKRY532
2009-09-03 16:42:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Conakry
Cable title:  

NEW VOICE EMERGING WITHIN LES FORCES VIVES

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  KDEM  PHUM  ASEC  GV 
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VZCZCXRO8066
PP RUEHPA
DE RUEHRY #0532/01 2461642
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 031642Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY CONAKRY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4005
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 CONAKRY 000532 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/03/2019
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM PHUM ASEC GV
SUBJECT: NEW VOICE EMERGING WITHIN LES FORCES VIVES

REF: A. CONAKRY 0514

B. CONAKRY 0506

C. CONAKRY 0493

Classified By: A/DCM SHANNON CAZEAU FOR REASON 1.4 B AND D



1. (C) SUMMARY. The leader of one of Guinea's newest
political parties, Aboubacar Syllah, may be playing an
increasingly important role within Les Forces Vives. A
journalist by trade, Syllah has been working closely with
former Prime Minister Francois Fall, and has been behind some
strongly worded statements made by the Forces Vives in recent
weeks. He is convinced that the CNDD has no intention of
relinquishing power, and is working with others to force
Dadis' hand. END SUMMARY.



2. (C) Political party leader Aboubacar Syllah (UFC - Union
of Forces for Change) has been playing an increasingly
visible role within Les Forces Vives in recent weeks. He
represents the party with which former Prime Minister
Francois Louceny Fall is setting up an alliance. He was also
the spokesperson for Les Forces Vives when they announced
their two most recent declarations, the first of which firmly
stated the Forces Vives' opposition to CNDD President Moussa
Dadis Camara's candidacy, and the second of which announced
that the Forces Vives were planning to boycott Dadis' August
31 meeting (reftels). A/DCM met with Syllah on September 2.



--------------------------


BIO NOTES


--------------------------





3. (U) Aboubacar Syllah is a journalist by trade and owns
one of Guinea's private newspapers, the "Democrat." He
served as the Minister of Information in 2006 for a period of
six months, during which time he claims to have signed the
country's first agreements authorizing private radio stations
to operate in Guinea. His father was Soussou and his mother
Peuhl (Fulani).



--------------------------


WORKING AGAINST THE EMERGING REGIME


--------------------------





4. (C) Syllah said that he never had any real interest in
politics, but decided to launch his political party when it
became clear that the CNDD intended to maintain its grip on
power. "I felt that the Forces Vives were extremely naive,
thinking they could work with a military junta to bring about
democracy, and I saw that I could play a role," Syllah said.
As such, he joined forces with Francois Fall (FUDEC) and
officially became a member of Les Forces Vives about a month
ago.



5. (C) According to Syllah, it is very clear that "another
dictator" is taking hold in Guinea. He claimed that the
current political situation is worse now than it was when the
transition started, and likely to get even worse. He
described Dadis' "demagogy" as typical of that of Guinea's
first regime, under Sekou Toure, where leaders played with
themes of patriotism and anti-imperialism to foster fear, and

ultimately, support for the regime.



--------------------------



--------------------------


GETTING READY FOR THE INTERNATIONAL CONTACT GROUP


--------------------------



--------------------------





6. (C) Having just come from a meeting with Les Forces
Vives, in anticipation of the International Contact Group
(ICG) meeting on September 3, Syllah said the Forces Vives
are focused on four key issues for the meeting: the
restructuring of the National Transition Council (CNT),
opposition access to public and private media, free movement
of political parties, and a demand for Dadis to publicly
declare that he will not be a candidate in any of the
upcoming elections. When A/DCM asked if Syllah thought Dadis
would acquiesce to this demand, he said "we are under no
illusions...the only thing left is for Dadis to declare, but
we are going to make our position clear."



7. (SBU) Syllah emphasized the importance of the ICG meeting
and commented that it was unfortunate that key opposition
leaders had decided to leave the country at such an
inopportune time. (COMMENT. Sidya Toure, Alpha Conde,
Cellou Diallo, Lansana Kouyate, and Mouctar Diallo are all
currently out of the country. END COMMENT).



--------------------------


ON THE POTENTIAL FOR CONFLICT


--------------------------



CONAKRY 00000532 002 OF 002





8. (C) In response to a question about the possibility of
rising tensions between the Fulani (Peuhl) and Forestier
ethnic groups, Syllah said "it would be extremely difficult
to have an ethnic conflict in Guinea due to our history, our
passive culture, the prevalence of interethnic marriages, and
regionalization." However, Syllah said that conflict is
still a very real responsibility given the current political
context, but that such a conflict would likely be along the
lines of pro-Dadis versus anti-Dadis, or for economic reasons
(i.e. the haves versus the have nots). In the case of an
economic conflict, Syllah said the conflict might look ethnic
because the Fulani represent the merchant class.



--------------------------


COMMENT


--------------------------





9. (C) Syllah claimed that he had been selected as the new
official spokesperson for Les Forces Vives, replacing
Jean-Marie Dore (UPG), but contacts report that the change is
not official. During the ICG meeting today, Dore still spoke
on behalf of Les Forces Vives. However, contacts have been
increasingly unhappy with Dore and have been talking about
trying to get a stronger voice out in front. Syllah may be
that voice. Regardless of whether or not he officially takes
on that role, he seems to have already begun to shake things
up within Les Forces Vives, working closely with Francois
Fall. END COMMENT.
BROKENSHIRE