[QODLink]
Africa
Guinea's Konate to lead AU force
African Union appoints widely praised outgoing military leader to be in charge of a continental rapid response force.
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2010 16:27 GMT
Konate earned international praise after leading Guinea back to civilian rule [AFP]

The African Union has appointed Sekouba Konate, Guinea's outgoing military leader, to head its
standby military force after he won international praise for guiding his own country through turbulent times, and oversaw a democratic elections that restored civilian rule.

The announcement on state television on Tuesday said Konate would be in charge of peacekeeping and intervention operations for a proposed African Standby Force, an attempt to create a continental security force.

Known in Guinea as "El Tigre" for his ferocity in battle, Konate took the helm of Guinea last January and quickly put it on a path back to civilian rule, earning him the support of western powers and neighbours.

Alpha Conde, the opposition leader, won last month's election, billed as the country's first free poll since independence from France in 1958.

He was finally declared winner last week after an election process marked by delays, disputes and violence.

Konate had previously signalled he would be willing to serve as defence minister in the next government.

Experts have said Konate's record in tackling past rebellions on Guinea's border with Liberia earned him the respect of the country's notoriously unruly army, making him uniquely suited to implement needed reforms.

Moussa Dadis Camara, the previous military leader, was shot in the head by one of his own soldiers.

Guinea is the world's top supplier of aluminium ore bauxite and is seen as a linchpin of stability in a region recovering from three civil wars this decade.

The United Nations' top envoy to West Africa has said Guinea's elections should serve as an example to neighbouring Ivory Coast, where presidential rivals have both claimed victory.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.