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Guinea president Conde completes cabinet

(Audio available further in this article)

CONAKRY — Guinea President Alpha Conde has put the finishing touches to his government, nominating 10 ministers including one of his former lawyers who will handle the justice portfolio.

New justice minister Christian Sow defended former opposition leader Conde in 1998 when he fell foul of the junta led by Lansana Conte. He spent two years in prison from 2000 before being released after international pressure.

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Conde was also represented in the case by Abdoul Kabele Camara, whom he appointed to manage the defence portfolio although Conde will act as defence minister.

Mohamed Lamine Fofana, a former advisor to transitional prime minister Jean-Marie Dore, will take over the key mining ministry, according to appointments announced on Guinean public television late Tuesday.

Guinea has a wealth of natural resources including bauxite and diamonds, but a lack of transparency in contracts with international mining companies has contributed to the country's deep poverty.

Conde defeated Cellou Dalein Diallo in a run-off poll on November 7 to become the first democratically elected head of state in Guinea.

The country has endured a series of despotic or authoritarian regimes since independence from France in 1958.


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