“Stop all forms of violence, establish inclusive dialogue”: Guinean Prelate to Politicians

Archbishop Vincent Coulibaly of Conakry Archdiocese during Mass at the St. Mary Cathedral, Saturday, August 15.

The Archbishop of Guinea’s Conakry Archdiocese has reached out to the political leaders in the West African nation who are involved in election-related violent conflict, urging for an “inclusive dialogue for peace.”

“I humbly ask the government and socio-political actors to immediately stop all forms of violence and establish a framework for inclusive dialogue for peace so as to allow the parties in conflict to listen to each other and to exchange views in order to find peaceful solutions to this crisis,” Archbishop Vincent Coulibaly said Saturday, August 15.

Archbishop Coulibaly who was presiding over Holy Eucharist on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary at St. Mary Cathedral in Conakry acknowledged the value of elections but regretted the violent conflict they trigger in the country.

“Elections are an important step towards a democratic rule of law and a real contribution to peace. Unfortunately, in Guinea, electoral processes are always disrupted by violence of all kinds,” he said.

He added, “Many Guineans are still anxious and very worried about the violence taking place in our country in the build-up to the holding of the presidential election scheduled for October 18, 2020.”


Talks of Guinea’s President Alpha Conde running for a third-term that has been seen as “taking advantage of a new constitution to circumvent a two-term limit on presidential mandates” has triggered protests in various parts of the country resulting in the loss of at least 30 lives, a report by Reuters News Agency published by Aljazeera indicates.

Members of the opposition boycotted the constitution, which was approved in March referendum.

On August 7,  the ruling party in Guinea, the Rally of the Guinean People (RPG), nominated President Conde to run for a third term, his supporters arguing that the constitutional change had canceled his two-term limit.

In his August 15 homily, Archbishop Coulibaly condemned “the numerous loss of human life as well as the injuries and destruction of public and private property recorded during the socio-political protests.”

He called on the competent authorities “to investigate the deaths in order to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice and to avoid making new victims.”

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“I beg the government and the opposition to put Guinea above all personal interests,” the 67-year-old Prelate said and urged officials of the ruling and opposition parties to put an “end to threatening, hurtful, degrading, and provocative words.”

He made known the Church leadership’s solidarity with and spiritual closeness to “our suffering people.”

“No injustice, no attack on peace, on life, on man's fundamental rights can remain indifferent in the Church's eyes,” the Local Ordinary of Conakry Archdiocese said.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.