Guinea’s junta is inspired by the Rwandan “model”, it said Tuesday, during a visit by President Paul Kagame, one of the first by a foreign leader since a 2021 coup.
The Rwandan leader arrived Monday evening in Guinea’s capital Conakry for the third leg of a West African tour, following stops in Benin and Guinea-Bissau.
“From the 1994 genocide to the reunification of the country, Rwanda has been able to recover… and rebuild, before asserting itself as an African benchmark,” the Guinean presidency said in a statement Tuesday.
“This is why the Rwandan model fascinates Colonel President (Mamady) Doumbouya”, the junta leader said.
Doumbouya, who was sworn in as president following a military coup in September 2021, has relented to international pressure and pledged to return power to elected civilians by the end of 2024.
The junta says it must carry out far-reaching reforms before handing back power.
“Profoundly rebuilding Guinea while inscribing it on the path of national reconciliation, autonomy and emergence — such is the real challenge”, the statement said.
The two leaders said they wanted to strengthen bilateral relations and create a “bridge” between Conakry and Kigali, Rwanda’s capital.
Kagame, who has been in office since 2000, said he was willing to work with Guinea and hoped to welcome Doumbouya “very soon” to Rwanda, the statement said.
The Guinean opposition said Kagame’s visit should not legitimise the junta regime.
It has been calling for a rapid return to civilian rule, as well as a “credible” dialogue and the release of political prisoners.