Berating journalists for allegedky creating unfounded rumours about their supposedly troubled relations, President Conde insisted that Sall “is like a little brother to me”.
Conde’s statement was in reaction to persistent rumours that relations with his Senegalese counterpart were "shrouded in a cloud of misunderstanding".
In an interview published by Senegalese dailies L’EnQuête” and “L’Observateur” Conde reiterated: “There is no misunderstanding between President Macky Sall and President Alpha Conde. It’s you, the reporters who made up things”.
He added: “Macky Sall is like a little brother. I told him: Macky, we need to communicate on a more regular basis, at least once a week. I have no problem with President Macky, he is a brother.”
The Guinean leader was attempting to clarify his position on among other things the border closure with Senegal thanks to an outbreak of Ebola four years ago, and his relations with former Gambian leader, Yahya Jammeh, who was not especially friendly with the leadership in Dakar.
These opposing positions led some observers to suggest that a cold car had existed between Dakar and Conakry.
In relation to the Ebola outbreak that hit Guinea hard in 2014, the media reported that President Conde was incensed with the Senegalese authorities for closing the border between the two countries.
Moreover, Conde’s position regarding last year’s post-election crisis in The Gambia which ended with Jammeh being forced into exile, was reportedly at odds with that of Dakar.
President Sall who wanted to Jammeh’s departure from the Gambian presidency at all cost did not see eye to eye with his Guinean counterpart.
More recently, on 3rd May, while meeting Guinean journalists, President Conde vehemently criticized them while hinting that those who do so to Macky Sall in neighbouring Senegal risk tough state retribution.
“Every day, you insult the president in the radios. Could a journalist dare insult Macky Sall? You know what would happen to them,” he said, reacting to Guinea’s low press freedom index by Reporter Without Borders (RSF).
In response, President Sall reportedly told Conde during a meeting in Germany: "If you want a Sekou Toure – Senghor type verbal sparring, I'm ready”.
Sall was alluding to tensions between the two countries’ independence leaders who were at loggerheads throughout their period in power.