Conakry, Jan. 9, 2021 Guinean president Alpha Conde, on Friday reiterated calls for the establishment of an African standby force to intervene in conflicts, particularly to combat jihadism, regretting that after more than 60 years of independence, the security of the continent is still in the hands of Western troops.
President Condé, who spoke after a tête-à-tête of more than two hours with the deputy chairman of the transitional administration in Mali, Colonel Assimi Goïta, said it was urgent for the continent to establish an army to combat terrorism and jihadism.
“The African continent must be able to quickly put in place a standby force. Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt have much more means, especially air transport for troops. Only Africans must die for Africa,” he said.
However, he thanked former French President, François Hollande, who agreed to fly troops to Mali’s rescue in 2012, when terrorists attacked and occupied the north of the country.
Without this French intervention, which was frowned upon by some Africans, according to president Condé, the jihadists would have attacked several countries in the sub-region after Mali.
A Guinean contingent is serving with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
President Condé noted that the Malian situation was complex and difficult to understand because of the deadly hostilities between the indigenous people, particularly the Dogon and Fulani, in the centre of the country.
He reiterated that his country will always stand by Mali in restoring security and sovereignty over the whole of its territory because “everything that affects Mali affects Guinea”.
For his part, Colonel Goïta, who paid 24-hour visit to Mali, said his country was counting on the support of Guinea, linked to Mali by “very deep ties” for several decades.
He called for increased security at the 902 km long borders of the two countries where Malian customs recently seized a large quantity of gold bars from Bamako, the Malian capital, worth more than 4 billion CFA francs.