Rumors on the establishment of a French military base in Guinea: the reaction of Colonel Sadiba Koulibaly

The chief of staff of the armed forces, Colonel Sadiba Koulibaly, denied the rumors about the establishment of a French military base in Guinea. The official said this last night, Saturday 18 June 2022, in an interview with our colleagues on national television (RTG).

As rumors swell in the city, the Guinean military authorities come out of the carpenter to interrupt her. According to Colonel Sadiba Koulibaly, it was never about creating a foreign military base in our country.

Guineematin.com offers you the full interview below.

A rumor has been circulating in the city for a few weeks now that a foreign base is in Guinea. How do you react to this rumor?

Colonel Sadiba Koulibaly: first of all, I begin by thanking you for the opportunity you are giving me to shed light on national opinion on this issue and according to the indications of the transitional president, the supreme commander of the armies. In fact, as you say, in the last few days this completely unfounded rumor has fueled all the talks. I would like to say here on behalf of the Head of State, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, that there is no doubt and there will never be the creation or establishment of a foreign base in Guinea during this transition. , under the leadership of the president of the transition. Let me be clear to everyone. During this transition there was never any doubt about the creation or establishment of a foreign base in Guinea. The president of the transition thinks it is up to the Guineans and only the Guineans to defend Guinea. And this conception, this thought of the president, is prior to September 5, 2021. Long before September 5, he thought that it is we Guineans who must defend our country. Hence, it is a totally unfounded rumor that is not based on anything.

Why was the defense minister in France while his counterparts were here inside the country?

First of all, I would like to recall that the minister delegated to the presidency in charge of national defense was inside the country in the same way as the other ministers. He made Forest Guinea, where he crossed all the shacks in this region. He did Upper Guinea where he did the same thing. He was in Middle Guinea. It was at the end of last week that, on the recommendation of the transition president, he joined Conakry in order to participate in Eurosatory. Here I would like to remind you that Eurosatory is a biannual event, in a sense an aeronautical exhibition that takes place in France. This is an opportunity for France to invite defense ministers from countries around the world as well as defense chiefs. So it was an invitation that had been sent months, long before the dive in the country. And the agreement in principle was given on the minister’s participation in this event. So his participation is part of this picture. And whoever has images of this meeting on the pretext of the existence of negotiations for the creation of a foreigner, is completely unfounded. It is a simple publication by the chief of staff of the French armies at the end of the meeting, as he did with several other delegations. He wanted to share it. This in no way implies any desire to establish or create a foreign base in the territory of Guinea. He lets the people of Guinea go about their business freely and protect themselves. This is not the first poisoning campaign. There will be several. But people remain calm. This is why the transition president sent me to tell the people of Guinea that it is false, it is unfounded. It was never thought of and never will be during this transition.

Mr. Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, in this study we read a statement inviting the soldiers to remain in the barracks. What details can you provide on this?

In reality, there was nothing new. It was a simple reminder of the statutory provisions of the military. As you know, it is both an honor and a priesthood. The unit commander who has been assigned a defense responsibility package must have his men at his disposal to do so. How to understand that a soldier serving in Lola or Dabola can live in Conakry? It is after having taken note of all this and on the recommendation of the Supreme Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces that I have issued this communiqué to remind all soldiers that no soldier can be far from his garrison. Everyone must be in his garrison under the orders of his boss to prepare for any eventuality. It’s just a simple reminder. There is nothing new.

This leads me to ask you this question. What reforms has it undertaken since 5 September 2021?

First of all I would like to start by thanking my predecessors. The life of a nation is a continuity. Since September 5, the president of the transition has silently opened vast sites, but in the end the effects are palpable today. Without pretending to explain everything here, however, allow me to illustrate with some concrete cases. I will begin first with the retirement of nearly a thousand people who are called to assert their retirement, according to our texts, according to seniority or age required. But the peculiarity is that the withdrawals were made in honor and recognition of all the efforts that have been made for the defense of this country. Aside from that, there was another event that had a very positive impact on the lives of the soldiers. It is the suppression of military supplies. Due to this military supply, the military was deprived of many things, including access to bank loans. Therefore, the elimination of this military supply allows the military, at the end of the reforms that will begin shortly, to have access to bank loans and to take advantage of many things that the banks offer, not to mention the significant increase that has ensued and many other things about accessories for sale. There are also other reforms underway, in particular related to the control of the workforce and the improvement of the living conditions of soldiers. If you see all the construction sites in the principals that had expired from 2009-2010, these construction sites are now in an advanced stage thanks to the will of the president of the passage. These infrastructures, once completed, will allow soldiers to live in the barracks and in fair working conditions. So these are some of the reforms among many others that have been carried out silently, quietly, but have had a serious impact on the life of the military and will continue to do so in the coming years.

How do you see life between civilians and soldiers?

I would like to point out that when I took office, one of the recommendations that the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces addressed to me was the improvement of civil-military relations. It must be said without any modesty that a great effort has been made in this direction by my predecessor and by his entire team. So the president instructed me to step up. How come ? Because the army comes only from the people. The missions we accompany, we do among the people. The more people support us, the more we will be able to carry out our missions. We are only there to defend people and their properties. Added to this is a security dimension. Everyone knows that the threats we face today are asymmetrical threats, they are cross-border threats. So the fighting for the next few decades will be much more in the cities. This means that any operation that is intended to be carried out in the cities, if it is to be successful, requires the support of the populations. This is why civil-military relations are now a fundamental component of command.

Words transcribed by Mamadou Laafa Sow for Guineematin.com

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