Guinea’s President Conde asks Ministers, Relatives to Declare Assets

President Alpha Conde of Guinea has said that all ministers in his new cabinet will have to declare their assets and those of their relatives.

Conde, who was sworn-in on Tuesday after his re-election for a controversial third term, added that any company with close ties to them would be barred from bidding for government contracts.

He also promised to tackle corruption among senior officials during his third term, with policies aimed at helping the poor in the minerals-rich nation whom he described as victims of bureaucratic neglect.

The 82-year-old made the vow at the swearing-in ceremony in Guinea’s capital, Conakry, on Tuesday, insisting that he planned to govern the West African nation of nearly 13 million people in a different way.

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“During the last two mandates, I noticed that the poor anonymous people in villages were abandoned by ministers and senior civil servants,” Conde said in a speech to the dozen assembled regional heads of state and governments.

Guinea witnessed sustained economic growth during Conde’s decade in power thanks to its bauxite, iron ore, gold and diamond wealth, but few saw the benefits.

Unemployment remained high while power cuts and protests were frequent.

“We need to change our practices,” Conde said. “We are committed to fighting corruption. We want to govern differently. This means that ministers must put themselves at the service of the people and not their families.”

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Conde decided to seek a third term after a constitutional reform in March allowed him to reset the clock on a presidential term limit.

His decision to run for a third term led to violent protests in which dozens of people were killed before and after the election.

Amnesty International says since October’s vote Guinean security forces have killed at least a dozen people and arrested hundreds in opposition strongholds.

Amnesty described President Condé’s swearing-in as the culmination of a process involving serious and widespread human rights violations carried out with complete impunity.

His inauguration was attended by 11 African leaders.

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