Brussels councillor and former boxing champion Béa Diallo was named Minister of Youth and Sports in the transitional government of Guinea, his country of origin on Tuesday.
Diallo, who is a member of the French-speaking socialist party PS and was a first councillor – deputy to the mayor in his absence – of Ixelles in Brussels since 2015, never made his commitment to helping improve the destiny of his home country a secret.
“I no longer want to see my Guinean compatriots lose their lives in the Mediterranean or end up as slaves in Libya,” Diallo told Belga news agency.
“That is why, after careful consideration with my family, my political party in Belgium and my colleagues in Ixelles, I have decided to participate in this government,” he added.
Diallo, a 50-year-old man who first made a name for himself as a champion boxer in the early 2000s and later made a career switch to politics, lives in Belgium with dual nationality but is of Guinean origin (Mali Prefecture).
At the start of September this year, a group of soldiers who named themselves the National Committee for Reconciliation and Development, appeared on television surrounding the Guinean President Alpha Condé, saying they had seized power following hours of gunfire near the presidential palace.
At the time, the groups said the constitution had been dissolved and that there would be discussions and consultations to create a new, more inclusive one.
The military government has since named Mohamed Beavogui, who had no previous government experience, as Prime Minister, and has replaced ministers and governors with civil servants and military for the period of political transition.
Diallo is currently in Guinea but will return to Belgium “as soon as possible” to explain his resignation in person in Ixelles. “I am not drawing a line under my commitment in Belgium, but the challenges in Guinea are so enormous that I have to respond favourably to this call,” he argued.
As Minister of Youth and Sports, the politician will be tasked with structuring projects that will give hope to young people and revitalise football, among other things.
The news of Diallo’s move to the Guinean government was confirmed in the early hours of Wednesday by Ahmed Laaouej, chairman of the Brussels PS, on Twitter.
Le PS Bruxellois prend acte du choix de Béa Diallo de rejoindre le gouvernement de Guinée comme Ministre de la Jeunesse et des Sports. B. Diallo qui entend aider au mieux la Guinée,pour une transition démocratique,démissionnera de sa fonction d’Echevin à Ixelles. Plus d’infos ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/ALnTrgu61Z
— Ahmed Laaouej (@AhmedLaaouej) November 3, 2021
Translation: “The Brussels PS takes note of the choice of Béa Diallo to join the Guinean government as Minister of Youth and Sports,” he wrote.
“B. Diallo, who intends to help Guinea as much as possible, for a democratic transition, will resign from his position of Alderman in Ixelles,” he added.
Meanwhile, no successor has been named to replace Diallo’s position in Ixelles, however, PS emphasised that it will continue its commitments in the municipality.