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Guinea says goodbye to Conté

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Guinea says goodbye to Conté

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Near-silent crowds lined the streets of Conakry, Guinea, on Friday to say farewell to their ruler of a quarter-century, Lasana Conté. The national stadium in the heart of the capital was full to bursting for his funeral ceremony. His final resting place will be Lansanya, some 120 kilometres from the capital.

The army officers who have seized power continue to promise they are only managing a transition, and there will be elections in 2010. They are appealing for international aid in reforming Guinea’s institutions and plugging the political vacuum the longtime leader leaves behind. With rival factions now appearing to rally to junta number two and nominated president Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, the risk of bloodshed appears to be receding. Camara says the army “rejects no-one” in the rebuilding process, and adds he will not stand in the elections.