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Guinea - France Relations

Independent in 1958 after having declined the proposal to integrate the French Community, Guinea has for a long time observed a certain distance with regard to France, and more widely, from the outside. The debate on Iraq at the United Nations in 2003 (Guinea then presides over the Security Council) has contributed to a rapprochement between the two countries.

The bloody repression of 28 September 2009 of a peaceful demonstration in the Conakry stadium calling for free elections. The massacre - more than 150 dead and 1,200 wounded - was unanimously condemned by the international community, and led France to suspend its military cooperation until 2010 and to maintain only its cooperation for the population.

Then, on 30 October, it suspended all its institutional co-operation with the governmental authorities (a dozen technical assistants placed with the Guinean administration) and the financing of the Tombo / Gbessia motorway development project In Conakry. However, in order not to penalize the Guinean population, cooperation projects benefiting the populations directly have been maintained. On 16 February 2010, after the announcement of the appointment of the government of national unity, France decided to resume its institutional cooperation with Guinea.

It was from 2010 that a phase of political stabilization, with the election in November 2010 of the President of the Republic Alpha Condé, although this did not happen smoothly: the electoral process had to be suspended due to violence and the parliamentary elections could not In 2013 after the conclusion of a political agreement within the framework of the inter-Guinean dialogue. With the re-election of President Alpha Condé for a second and last term in November 2015, the country seemed to have been relatively stable, even though the presidential election of the regime had been underway for some weeks and if the municipal elections scheduled for the first half of 2016 had been Carried forward to October 2016. The electoral process had to be suspended due to violence and the legislative elections could only be held in 2013 after the conclusion of a political agreement within the framework of the inter-Guinean dialogue.

Guinea had been helped by France to improve surveillance of its coasts, with tangible effects: adoption of a regime of State action at sea inspired by the French model, creation of a maritime prefecture with the acquisition of 3 RAIDCO boats and equipment of the Guinean semaphores supported and partially financed by France.

On 21 November 2014, President Alpha Condé and his counterpart François Hollande began discussions in Paris to conclude a new military and defense cooperation agreement between Guinea and France. Less than two months after this meeting, the Dixmude projection and command building served as the framework Monday, January 13, 2014 at the signing of this new agreement by the French Ambassador to Guinea, Bertrand Cochery, and the Minister Delegate To the defense, Mr. Abdoul Kabele Camara.

This defense cooperation agreement and the status of forces, according to the French diplomat, is the result of a resolute policy of reform of the security sector, under the impetus of President Alpha Condé, constantly supported by France, A common desire to regulate by law the activities of military and defense cooperation between France and Guinea. The agreement in question revolves around defense and security policy, the organization and functioning of the armed forces, the peacekeeping and humanitarian operation, as well as military schooling. According to Bertrand Cochery, it contributes to the strengthening of the rule of law in Guinea, applied to the field of defense.

In order to carry out the reform of the army, French cooperation is very much appreciated by Guinea. Operational cooperation, which has been interrupted for a long time, resumes this year with the planning by the French elements in Senegal of eleven training actions, in particular for the preparation of the Guinean contingent of MINUSMA: first aid in combat, fight against improvised explosive devices, Information. The so-called "structural" cooperation, piloted in Paris by the Directorate of Security and Defense Cooperation (DCSD) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, benefits from a very small budget of € 2.44 million in 2016 Implemented by eleven military cooperants, under the authority of the Defense Attaché.

The volume of French exports to Guinea reached € 143 million in 2016. The first export items are pharmaceuticals and industrial and agricultural machinery. French imports from Guinea amounted to 132 M € in 2016 Guinea exports to France hydrocarbons and metallurgical and metal products in particular. Under the leadership of the MEDEF and the confederation of the employers of Guinea (CPEG), several French investment projects in Guinea have been realized (Conakry urban waste treatment market for Ikos International, Memorandum of Understanding on Urgency for the restructuring of the Conakry water network for Saur) and many opportunities are offered for French companies. Medef led a delegation of about 20 French business leaders to Conakry from 18 to 20 May 2016.

With the exception of the Castel group and Sogea-Satom (Vinci group) breweries in the construction industry, the French presence is concentrated mainly in the services and logistics sectors with Africa Bolloré Logistics, Air France, France Telecom-Orange, Total in fuel distribution, CFAO (distribution of vehicles), Laborex (pharmaceutical distribution), BNP Paribas and Société Générale in the bank, Gras Savoye in insurance, ACCOR, Sodexho, Bureau Veritas.

The French Senate adopted on July 7, 2016 a bill "authorizing the approval of the agreement between the Government of the French Republic and the Government of the Republic of Guinea concerning the cooperation in matters of defense and the status of forces. "This agreement, according to the report submitted to the Committee for consideration by Mr. Jeanny Lorgeoux, it is the continuation of the one signed in 1985 which " never entered into force, for lack of ratification by the Guinean side."

This agreement is very similar to the "new generation" defense agreements made since 2008 with other African countries, such as the Comoros, Central African Republic, Togo, Gabon, Cameroon, Senegal, Djibouti and Ivory Coast. It does not, however, contain an annex describing the operational facilities granted to forces stationed in the territory of the other Party because France has no stationed forces or permanent bases in Guinea.

These agreements are designed to better respond to the current needs of African states, in a context that differs from that which prevailed in the aftermath of independence, when the so-called "first generation" agreements were signed. On the merits, these new agreements are distinguished from previous agreements mainly by a more partnership-based approach. They also aim to increase the involvement of African countries in the collective defense of Africa. In particular, these agreements, with the exception of the one signed with Djibouti, no longer include an automatic military assistance clause in the event of internal or external destabilization of the regime in place.

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Page last modified: 03-05-2017 19:11:00 ZULU