African News

Gen. Lamine Cissé to restructure Guinean army

By Frederic Tendeng
The United Nations, upon recommendation of ECOWAS, has designated Senegal’s Former Minister of Interior under President Abdou Diouf, General Lamine Cisse, to avail his expertise in building a republican army in Guinea Conakry. General Lamine Cissé is already in Conakry for a first contact with Acting President, General Sékouba Konate.
The Senegalese envoy has the onerous task of restructuring the Guinean army whose reputation has been tarnished by the killing of its citizens during the January 2007 civil society demonstrations as well as the opposition and civil society led rally of Conakry last September 28th.
The image of the Guinean army has since suffered serious blow, fueled by open splits that unarguably reduced its cohesion, thus creating a chain of command divided into antagonistic groups steered by wary military commanders. One of them is Lieutenant Toumba Diakité who is still out of ranks after he made an attempt on the life of Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, the former CNDD junta leader.
About 11 million US dollars has been catered for the mission entrusted to General Lamine Cissé. The money has been disbursed through the UNDP driven Fund for Peace building. The whole idea is to ensure that soldiers are back into the military barracks and leave the political field to civilians.
General Lamine was born in 1939 in the Senegalese town of Sokone, South of the region of Kaolack. He served as Senegal’s Army Chief of Staff before being appointed Interior minister by former President Abdou Diouf. Gen. Cissé later served as head of the UN Office in West Africa.
On June 16, 2001, he was appointed by Kofi Annan as Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Peace building in Central African Republic (BONUCA).

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