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Africa

Junta announces caretaker government ahead of elections

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2010-02-16

Guinea's interim leader General Sekouba Konate (pictured) has appointed a transitional government to steer the west African country from military back to civilian rule, an official statement said on Monday.

REUTERS - Authorities in Guinea named a caretaker government on Monday, unveiling the mix of civilian and military leaders charged with leading the world's top bauxite producer to elections after months of crisis.

Mines Minister Mahmoud Thiam retains his job while former central bank governor Kerfalla Yanfasane takes control of the ministry of economy and finance, according to a statement read out on state television.

The announcement comes after weeks of squabbling over who would oversee Guinea's return to civilian rule after over a year under the military.

The new team of 32 ministers and two secretaries of state will be led by veteran opposition leader Jean-Marie Dore, who was named prime minister after crisis talks last month.

"We had to ensure the balance between all the parties involved. I am aware of the burdon of responsibility," Dore said on state television before his government was named.

Dore was given the task of preparing polls by mid-year after the wounding of junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara in a Dec. 3 assassination bid raised hopes that the top metals exporter could find stability after months of tumultous military rule.

Camara secured power in a December 2008 bloodless coup after the death of longtime leader Lansana Conte and quickly seized the political initiative as Guinea's opposition appeared bewildered by events.

Defence Minister Sekouba Konate, who assumed power from Camara after the gun attack by an ex-aide, has so far prevented further abuses by the military, parts of which stand accused of a Sept. 28 massacre of over 150 pro-democracy marchers.

Analysts had feared that the delays in naming the new government endangered peace efforts in a nation surrounded by countries overcoming years of war and chaos.

Date created : 2010-02-15

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