Дата публикации: 20 марта 2024
Автор(ы): A. R. KHALITOVA
Публикатор: Научная библиотека Порталус
Рубрика: РАЗНОЕ
Источник: (c) Asia and Africa Today, No. 12,31 December 2016 Pages 61-65
Номер публикации: №1710932718



Applicant Institute of Africa, Russian Academy of Sciences

Keywords: France, Guinea, foreign policy, bilateral cooperation

On October 11, 2015, Alpha Conde was re-elected President of the Republic of Guinea for a second term. The President told his constituents that his goal is to develop and consolidate the country. France, a former metropolitan country, pleased with the results of the elections, declared a course of partnership with Guinea "on an equal basis"," on an equal footing " and declared the priorities of its African policy to help development and protect human rights.

Guinea was the only French colony that refused to join the French Community in September 1958, an alliance that united the overseas, including African, territories of France.1 This rebellious gesture resulted in Guinea's independence just a month later, on October 2, 1958. Anti-colonial sentiment in the country was so strong that even before it gained sovereignty, the President of the Guinean Government, Sekou Toure, managed to carry out a number of reforms, including the abolition of the colonial administrative system.

The high-handed behavior of the activist of the Democratic Party of Guinea (DPG) was negatively perceived by French President Charles de Gaulle. However, a few months later, in January 1959, the former metropolis recognized the independence of Guinea, and in 1961, it was recognized as an independent state. Sekou Toure was elected president of the young African state. A few years later, he announced that the country was taking a " socialist path of development." In 1965, diplomatic relations between France and Guinea were interrupted due to the accusation by the Guinean authorities of the French special services in preparing a coup d'etat in the country. Diplomatic relations were restored only 10 years later - in 1975, but until 1984, i.e. until the death of S. Toure, they remained strained.

In 1984, as a result of a military coup, General Lansana Conte became President of Guinea, who, with the support of the West, began to implement liberal reforms. In particular, a new Constitution was adopted, the activities of opposition parties were allowed, and the media began to enjoy greater freedom. According to the French Foreign Ministry, contacts between the two countries were further strengthened in 2003, when Guinea, as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, supported France's position against the US and its allies conducting a military operation in Iraq.2

Meanwhile, the country's policy of democratization failed: Guinea experienced ethnic clashes, military arbitrariness and widespread corruption. According to Transparency International, in 2006, the state ranked 160th out of 163 countries in terms of corruption. 3

After the death of L. Conte in 2008, the military junta headed by Captain Dadi took power-

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som Kamara, who ruled the country until 2010. On September 28, 2009, a bloody dispersal of an opposition rally took place at the capital's (Conakry) stadium, killing more than 150 people. In protest, the French authorities completely curtailed cooperation with Guinea, first in the military, and later in other spheres.4 Relations were restored in 2010 after an assassination attempt on the head of the military junta and the formation of a government under transitional President Sakobe Konata.

On November 7, 2010, Alpha Conde, leader of the United People of Guinea (UGN) party, an opposition figure and dissident, and a fellow Socialist of the current French President, became head of State. Hollande, a classmate and close friend of former French Foreign Minister Boris Kouchner.


A. Conde went to the presidency long and hard. A former socialist and Trotskyist, he spent much of his life in France. After graduating from the Sorbonne, he taught for many years in French universities. In the 1960s, the future president headed the Federation of Black African Students in France, created on the initiative of Charles de Gaulle with the aim of "nurturing" African statesmen loyal to France.

A. Conde always opposed himself to the current government in Guinea. He was sentenced to death for his opposition activities under S. Toure, and during the years of L. Conte's rule, he twice ran for the post of president. After participating in the elections in 1998, he was charged with "attempting to destroy the security of the Guinean State". In 1999, A. Conde was imprisoned, from which he managed to get out only in 2001 thanks to the personal efforts of French President Jean-Claude Juncker. Chirac.

Only on the third attempt, a French and Guinean citizen, A. Conde, was elected President of the Republic of Guinea. The 2010 presidential elections were held with the active assistance of France, and their holding became a prerequisite for the resumption of development projects that were previously frozen by France.

After winning the election, A. Conde declared himself the "Mandela of Guinea" 5, declaring his main task to democratize Guinean society.

The first step in this direction was to organize elections to local authorities and the National Assembly (Parliament). In 2011, instead of elective local bodies, A. Conde formed so-called temporary special commissions. As for the parliamentary elections, they were supposed to be held in 2007, but they were not held until 2013. France became one of the guarantors of the parliamentary elections, providing the Guinean authorities with financial and technical support. Many political analysts noted the great interest of the French business community, especially the Movement of Enterprises of France (MEDEF), in holding parliamentary elections as soon as possible. On the eve of the elections, a delegation of French entrepreneurs representing more than 40 companies visited Guinea.6


In 2012, a candidate from the Socialist Party, Fr. Hollande. The coming to power in the former metropolis of a president close to him in spirit prompted A. Conde to continue the policy of "new partnership". The period of the most active contacts between the two countries has begun. Since 2012, the Presidents of Guinea and France have held 9 official meetings only.7 In addition, A. Conde has repeatedly met with F. Hollande in private - during his regular visits to Paris, where his relatives live. According to media reports, the Guinean president is an honorary member of France's oldest Masonic lodge, the Grand Orient de France, which has close ties to the Socialist Partie8.

An important event for Guinea, of course, was the state visit of Fr. Hollande's visit to Conakry on November 28, 2014 is the first visit of a French president to the country since 1999. For Guinea, it was also a sign of solidarity because it took place at the height of the Ebola epidemic. Since the outbreak of Ebola in 2014, all neighboring countries have closed their borders with Guinea, many foreign companies have suspended their operations in the country, and most airlines have canceled flights to Conakry9.

In fact, session F. Hollande demonstrated France's support for the candidacy of A. Conde in the upcoming presidential elections in 2015. The condition of the Elysee Palace, as before, was A. Conde's adherence to democratic principles and, in particular, granting greater freedom to the opposition. The President of Guinea showed his readiness to do so during the visit of F. Hollande, announcing at a joint press conference the establishment of the position of opposition representative in parliament. The main rival of the incumbent president in the elections, the head of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UDF) party, S. D. Diallo, was appointed to this post. In addition, the Guinean Commissioner for Human Rights was sworn in, and a Constitutional Court was soon established. 10

However, these measures were sufficiently populist in nature. Dissatisfaction with the policies of A. Conde grew among Guineans, the ranks of the opposition grew stronger, and France was faced with the task of helping the Guinean leader stay in power.

In the spring of 2015, Guinea began mass de --

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monstrations that led to clashes between oppositionists and law enforcement officers. According to Amnesty International, 13 people were killed in the riots, and more than 80 were injured.11 Opposition parties suspended their participation in the National Assembly.

UN-mediated negotiations between the authorities and the opposition continued for several months, resulting in the signing of an agreement on political dialogue on August 20, 2015. Under pressure from the heads of diplomatic missions of France, the EU and the United States, the Guinean opposition pledged not to resort to street demonstrations during the election campaign and elections. The main lever of influence on opposition leader S. D. Diallo was the presence of bank accounts, real estate and businesses in Europe and the United States12.

In addition, the French authorities provided A. Conde with experienced and influential political strategists and advisers, thanks to whom, in particular, the Ebola epidemic was used by the president as a tool for political maneuvers during the election campaign. Ebola was also responsible for the decline in economic indicators, and the presidential ban on holding pre-election demonstrations and protests.

Thus, the 2015 presidential election was held with the direct participation of the Elysee Palace. A significant part of the costs of their organization was financed by the EU and France13, and political levers were used that ensured social peace in the country with the unconditional victory of A. Conde.

After winning the election, A. Conde, at the insistence of foreign advisers, announced a new political course. Failures in the first five-year plan, growing public discontent, and accusations of mismanagement, corruption, and ethnic cleansing in government pushed the President to form a new government. The President's team included a new generation of politicians and economists, young and energetic, most of whom had experience working in international organizations and development institutions.


Guinea has significant trade and economic potential, given the reserves of bauxite (1st place in the world), gold, diamonds, iron ore, uranium, hydropower and agricultural resources. However, despite the abundance of resources, Guinea is one of the poorest countries in the world: half of the country's population is below the poverty line.

In fact, the main objectives of French policy in Africa are to create favorable conditions for investors and protect the interests of French business. In Guinea, which has recently become a" full-fledged " partner of France, these conditions are ensured by the participation of the Elysee Palace in the internal affairs of the state, including in the development of local legislation related to key sectors of the economy.

Today, 89 French companies are represented in the country, including in the banking sector (BNP ParibasSociete Generate), logistics (Africa Bollore LogisticsSAGASDVSOCOPAO), telecommunications (France Telecom-OrangeALCATEL), air transportation (Air France), oil products supply (TOTAL), automotive sector (PSA-CitroenRenault), construction and public works (SATOM/SOGEAAUDEMARD), etc. 14

In recent years, the interest of French companies in the still poorly developed Guinean market has been growing. Major development projects are being implemented in Guinea with MEDEF support. MEDEF regularly organizes business missions of French companies to Guinea. Many socio-economic areas, including the waste collection and recycling market, water and electricity supply, Conakry Airport, etc., are under the control of French enterprises.

One of the most influential players in the Guinean economy is the French company Africa Bollore Logistics, which controls almost the entire port transport infrastructure of the country. In Africa, the company is represented in 45 countries15 and is a key player in the port logistics market (15 container terminals and 11 ports 16). The concession for the use of the Conakry container port was obtained by the Bollore Group as compensation for the organization of A. Conde's election campaign in 2010 by its advertising holding Havas17.

Guinea is not among France's most active trading partners in Tropical Africa. According to the French Ministry of Economy, French exports to Guinea in 2015 reached approximately 134 million euros (23rd place among the countries of the region). Guinea ranked 18th in terms of imports to France in 2015 (80.5 million euros).18.


France is one of the initiators of the security sector reform that began in Guinea in 2010. The French military Department is involved in the development of a program to reform the security forces and create a new legislative framework for the armed forces, police and gendarmerie. Along with American specialists, French military advisers were directly involved in the development of the "Regulations on the Status of military personnel of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Guinea", "Regulations on the Status of military personnel of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Guinea".-

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Regulations on the procedure and conditions for military service for ordinary, non-commissioned and commissioned officers", "The Law on the Special Status of the Police of the Republic of Guinea" and other key documents regulating the activities of law enforcement agencies.

The French-Guinean Intergovernmental Agreement on Defense Cooperation and the Status of Armed Forces, signed on January 13, 2014, was the first agreement on military-technical cooperation between the two countries. It expanded the provisions of a similar document signed on 17 April 1985, which never entered into force because it was not ratified by the Guinean party.19

The main task of France in this area is to form a new cadre of law enforcement agencies in Guinea. In particular, it provides for the training of the younger generation of Guinean military personnel, who in the future should form the backbone of the Guinean army. With the assistance of the French military mission, the National School of Non-Commissioned Officers was opened in Manea in 2005, the National School of Radio Communications and the National School of Military Administration in 2006-2007. France is also involved in training military personnel at the National Combined Arms School of Guinea. Training of Guinean military personnel is carried out in almost all branches of the armed forces( including senior commanders), the police and gendarmerie-also with the technical support of France.20

Within the framework of bilateral cooperation, Guinean military personnel are regularly sent to French military schools, including regional centers established in a number of African states (16 such schools have been opened in 10 countries of Tropical Africa).21.

Separately, we should mention the program" Strengthening the capabilities of African countries in peacekeeping " (RECAMP), which was proposed by France during the Franco-African summit in 1998.The program is aimed at creating effective national armies capable of operating independently, without the participation of third countries. At the same time, RECAMP implies the creation of a collective regional security body that coordinates its actions with the relevant UN structures. The main activities of the program are training, conducting joint exercises and providing technical equipment to national armies in various African regions. Every two years, the program conducts large-scale regional exercises simulating peacekeeping operations with the participation of the Army High Command.22 RECAMP is implemented with the assistance of the UN, EU, African Union and African regional organizations.

Guinean peacekeepers participate in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSTAH), initiated by France, which launched the Serval military operation in Mali in 2013 against Islamic extremists in the north of the country. In 2014, French instructors, together with American instructors, trained Guinean peacekeepers. In March - June 2015, these troops were deployed to Mali, where they currently number 850 people.23

Recently, France has begun to pay special attention to training and equipping the Guinean army's medical units. This was largely due to the Ebola epidemic that began in West Africa in 2014.


An important area of cooperation between France and Guinea within the framework of the declared partnership policy is development assistance.

In 2012, Guinea managed to get France to write off 53.7 million euros of external public debt, as well as extend the repayment period of 97.1 million euros of the remaining debt. In addition, on October 25, 2012, an agreement was signed on the cancellation by the Paris Club (the main creditor of the organization is France) of Guinea's debt in the amount of $655.9 million (99.2%).24 Guinea, in turn, pledged to use the released funds for social programs, in particular, for projects in agriculture, regional development, and school education. and vocational education 25.

The French authorities are implementing projects to promote reforms in various public areas (including administrative, financial, health and agriculture). In terms of bilateral aid, France ranks first among Guinea's foreign donors (followed by Japan and the United States). In 2014 alone, French foundations sent more than $77 million in official development assistance to the country26. In September 2014, a framework agreement on cooperation for 2014-2016 was signed, which provides for cooperation in 4 areas: democratic governance, education, agriculture and energy.

In fact, France was the first country to provide assistance to Guinea in the fight against the Ebola epidemic. According to the French Foreign Ministry, in 2014-2015, France's contribution to the fight against the epidemic in Guinea exceeded 158 million euros, and several hundred qualified doctors and humanitarian workers were sent to the country. So, for example, in November 2014, in the military schools of Manea, as well as in the Center for

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40 French civil defense specialists were sent to train medical personnel involved in the treatment of Ebola.27 In January 2015, a center for the treatment of Ebola-infected health workers was opened in Conakry, where more than 120 French military personnel (including medical personnel)were sent28. Thanks to timely assistance, the epidemic was contained by the end of 2015.

In addition, the French Government has allocated 150 million euros to restore the country's economy and health care system. 29 France supported the initiative of the heads of the three States most affected by Ebola - Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone-to take special measures by international development institutions to restore the economies of these countries. In 2015, during the Ebola epidemic, health care was also added to the priority areas of development. As part of this agreement, France has committed about $99 million to Guinea.30

Guinea is thus becoming more and more politically and economically dependent on its former mother country, following the path of Western-style political transformation. At the same time, the Fifth Republic is forced to maneuver and adapt to the new geopolitical conditions on the continent - the growth of political instability, the activation of terrorist groups, and humanitarian crises. These new factors now pose a threat not only to regional but also to global security. That is why France implements many aspects of its African policy through pan-European institutions, international and regional organizations.

Vysotskaya N. I. 1 Afrikanskaya politika Frantsii [The African Policy of France], Moscow, IAfr RAS, 2006, p. 8. (Vysotskaya N. J. 2006. French policy in Africa. Moscow) (in Russian)

2 La France et la Guinee. 04.04.2016 - http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/dossiers-pays/guinee/la-france-et-la-guinee

3 Corruption perceptions index 2006 - www.transparency.org/research/cpi/cpi_2006

4 Nouvelles mesures de represailles de la France contre la Guinee. 30.10.2009 - http://www.jeuneafrique.com/157598/politique/nouvelles-mesures-de-repr-sailles-de-la-france-contre-la-guin-e

5 Discours d'Alpha Conde apres sa prestation de serment: Je serai le Mandela de la Guinee. 21.12.2010 - http://www.pressafrik.com/Discours-d-Alpha-Conde-apres-sa-prestaion-deserment-Je-serai-le-Mandela-de-la-Guinee_a46066.html

6 Du port de Conakry aux reseaux hydrauliques et electriques: le MEDEF fait main basse sur la Guinee avec la complicite du president "democrate" et "socialiste" Conde'. 24.06.2011 - http://solidarite-internationale-pcf.over-blog.net/article-duport-de-conakry-aux-reseaux-hydrauliques-et-electriques-le-medef-fait-main-basse-sur-la-guinee-77653529.html

7 La France et la Guinee...

8 Les francs-macons au pied du mur // Jeune Afrique. 21-27 fevrier2016. N 287.

9 See for more details: Melnikov V. A. Smert po imeni Ebola / / Aziya i Afrika segodnya. 2014. N 11 (Melnikov V.A. 2014. Death by Name Ebola // Aziya i Afrika segodnya. N 11); Melnikov V. A. Ebola recedes, but... / / Asia and Africa today. 2015, N 5. (Melnikov V.A. 2015. Ebola Retreats, but... // Aziya i Afrika segodnya. N 5) (in Russian)

10 From the Guinean media.

11 Guinee: les violences liees a la presidentielle ont fait 13 morts selon Amnesty International // Jeune Afrique. 23.10.2015 - http://www.jeuneafrique.com/273812/politique/guinee-violences-liees-a-presidentielle-ont-13-morts-selon-amnesty-international

12 From interviews with diplomats and materials from the Guinean media.

13 Based on the Independent National Electoral Commission of Guinea.

14 Les chiffres cles des echanges bilateraux et dispositif de soutien aux entreprises franchises en Guinee. Janvier 2016 - http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/IMG/pdf/guinee_cle4cb9b3.pdf

15 La machine Afrique de Bollore // Les Echos. 28.02.2013 - http://www.lesechos.fr/entreprises-secteurs/autotransport/debat/0202578936878-la-machine-afrique-de-bollore-542778.php

16 Les principales infrastructures de Bollore' Africa Logistics // Les Echos - http://www.lesechos.fr/pop.htm; http://blogs.lesechos.fr/IMG/jpg/ide_afrikbollore.jpg

17 Le bureau de Bollore perquisitionne dans le cadre d'une enquete sur ses activites africaines // Le Monde. 12.04.2016 - http://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2016/04/12/le-bureau-de-vincent-bollore-perquisitionne-dans-le-cadre-d-une-enquete-sur-ses-activites-africaines_4900874_3212.html

18 Les echanges commerciaux de la France avec l'Afrique subsaharienne en 2015 - http://www.tresor.economie.gouv.fr/File/423104

19 Projet de loi autorisant l'approbation de l'accord entre le Gouvernement de la Republique francaise et le Gouvernement de la Republique de Guinee relatif a la cooperation en matiere de defense et au statut des forces - http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/14/pdf/projets/pl2607.pdf

20 Armee guineenne: toujours "freres d'armes" // Horoya. 8 Janvier 2015, N 7630.

21 Ibidem.

22 La France et la gestion des crises africaines: quels changements possibles? - http://www.senat.fr/rap/r05-450/r05-4505.html

23 Pre'sentation de la Guinee. 04.04.2016 http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/dossiers-pays/guinee/presentation-de-la-guinee.

24 Le Club de Paris annule 99% de la dette de la Guinee. 25.10.2012 - http://www.ambafrance-gn.org/Le-Club-de-Paris-annule-99-de-la

25 La France et la Guinee...

26 Ibidem.

27 Armee guineenne - armee francaise...

28 Ebola: point de situation du deploiement de l'armee francaise en Guinee. 10.07.2015 - http://www.defense.gouv.fr/operations/autres-operations/lutte-contre-ebola/ebola-point-de-situation-du-deploiement-de-1-armee-francaise-en-guinee2

29 Based on the materials of the French Embassy in Guinea.

30 Ibid.

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