General Umaro Sissoco Embalo, exclusively on Senegalese private television TFM, spoke of his relations with Guinean President Alpha Condé.
« We are obliged to live in peace with our immediate neighbors in the sub-region. Even President Alpha (Condé), now that we are counterparts,… we are obliged to forget everything and walk together, » said the new elected president of Guinea-Bissau.
« I cannot hate him just because he did not love me. He did everything to keep me from being president. But since the Bissau-Guineans elected me, the attacks between him and me, it’s over. We are not Senghor and Sékou Touré « , explains Mr. Embalo without saying what he really criticizes his Guinean counterpart.
In the past, the two men had experienced somewhat tense relationships.
Appointed Prime Minister in November 2016, Umaro Sissoco Embalo, accused in February 2017 the Guinean President Alpha Condé then mediator of the Bissau-Guinean crisis, of playing a negative role in this crisis.
He maintained at the time that reports from the intelligence services of Guinea Bissau show that the Guinean head of state called politicians to Bissau to block his program in parliament.
Aware that he is not of the same generation as Alpha Condé who is the age of his grandfather, he says, General Embalo announced that he would give him all the respect he deserves.
« I would give him all the respect that befits him even if he doesn’t love me. He doesn’t need to love me either. I just have to respect him as a counterpart and he just has to change to build mutual respect, « he said.
Our attempts to reach the Guinean Presidency on these latest accusations have been unsuccessful.
The new president of Guinea-Bissau has nevertheless reported that he maintains good relations with African heads of state such as President Macky Sall of Senegal, Dénis Sassou Nguesso of Congo, but also with the former president of Burkina Faso Blaise Compaoré and the late Muammar Khadafi of Libya.
Mr. Embalo was elected with 53.55% before his rival Domingos Simoes Pereira who had only 46.45% of the votes cast.
This victory marks the end of an era.
That of the hegemony of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), of Domingos Simoes Pereira, came first in the first round with 40.1% of the vote.
Umaro Sissoco Embalo, 47, is a PAIGC alumnus, who dissented by creating the Movement for the Democratic Alternative (Madem).
A graduate in political science, he was the Prime Minister of his predecessor José Mario Vaz between November 2016 and January 2018.
A Portuguese-speaking country in West Africa with 1.8 million inhabitants, Guinea Bissau is a former Portuguese colony.
Since independence in 1974, it has experienced four coups and 16 attempted coup attempts.