Faced with this continuing situation, the ambassadors of France and the European Union in Guinea challenged the transition authorities this Wednesday, January 10, 2024.
In their relevant communication, the two Western diplomats did not use language in questioning the merits of these decisions and especially in drawing the attention of Guinean leaders to their consequences.
The French ambassador to Guinea Marc Fonbaustier believes that there are measures which seem to have been taken since the end of November and these have a real “attack on the regular functioning of their missions”.
“Regarding my work as French ambassador, I see three attacks linked to this situation which pose difficulties for me. I can no longer work from my residence with my dedicated means of communication with the ministry. The second is that when I am in my company vehicle, the instrument given to me by my government is not operational. The third perhaps which seems more worrying concerns visas. I am currently working with two VPN tunnels, one of which is not operational, which means I am at 50% of my visa issuing capacity. I think this is something that speaks to everyone and I am convinced that I am not the only diplomatic mission whose consular mission is currently affected and impacted by general measures,” explained the French diplomat.
”My second remark” adds Mr Marc Fonbaustier, ‘is that as a friend of Guinea, I do not think it is easy today, for us embassies, to convince economic operators, to come and invest in Guinea when they are not sure of being able to communicate and inform normally. In other words, the image of the country is currently negatively and seriously affected,” said the French ambassador to Guinea.
For her part, Ms. Jolita Pons, the ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Guinea, emphasizes that the restrictions imposed on a certain group of media pose, beyond the problem of communication, that of freedom of expression.
“This is a very serious problem. Apart from the freedom of citizens, this is a reputational problem for Guinea. We ask a lot of questions about whether these restrictions are justified, proportionate and necessary. As friendly countries of Guinea, we wonder if these restrictions are not counterproductive. We hope that this last year of the transition will take place in the most peaceful climate possible,” said the head of diplomacy of the European Union in Guinea.
This article is originally published on africaguinee.com