See also:
» 03.02.2010 - Guinea twists September massacre findings
» 21.12.2009 - Guinean crackdown amounts to crimes against humanity, report
» 18.12.2009 - UN chief studying Guinea report
» 17.12.2009 - Hold Camara accountable for September massacre
» 01.12.2009 - Prominent rights activist arrested in Guinea
» 18.11.2009 - International commission on Guinea’s crackdown dispatched
» 13.11.2009 - Conte’s son in drug trafficking charge
» 29.10.2009 - Security Council calls for trying of Guinea's massacre

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Mass protests in Conakry (Guinea) on 27 February 2013
© UFDG-Online/afrol News
Society | Politics

Ethnic violence in Guinea ahead of polls

Security forces monitor the protests in Guinea on 27 February 2013

© UFDG-Online/afrol News
afrol News, 5 March
- Violence is spreading in Guinea's capital Conakry after the country's opposition urged followers to protest against the election preparations. This night, civilians again were killed during extensive looting and ethnic clashes in Conakry.

The UN and the European Union (EU) today stated their concern after the breakout of new violence in the Guinean capital this night, saying the fear the electoral process is getting out of control. President Alpha Condé had ordered parliamentary elections to be organised on 12 May this year. The polls have been postponed several times since its original schedule in 2011.

The opposition in the West African country has accused President Condé of planning to rig the upcoming elections, further claiming they have been excluded from the process that is to lead up the polls. During the last weeks, the opposition therefore on several occasions has urged Guineans to join mass protests against President Condé. Mr Condé himself was a vintage opposition figure when he came to power through democratic elections in 2010.

The following protests in Conakry, reaching their climax on Wednesday last week (27 February), soon turned violent. According to UN sources, at least one person was killed and over 100 injured during last week's anti-Condé protests. Most were injured during ethnic clashed after the protest march, as groups of Peuhl (Fulani) and Malinkas started attacking each other. President Condé belongs to the Malinke people, while the Peuhl are the largest people of Guinea, to a large degree forming the o

Guinea's President Alpha Condé

© Presidence de Guinée/afrol News

While the riots and violence started in the Conakry suburb Hamdallaye on Wednesday, they spread into the more central parts of the capital during the weekend.

According to UN sources, "at least five people, including one police, have been killed and 172 people have been injured by stones hurled by protesters or by live fire from security forces. Three of the deaths and at least 12 injuries were caused by the use of live ammunition."

The local UN office in Guinea reports that several of the protesters are attacking persons "based on their ethnicity, while others looted shops as overstretched security forces struggled to maintain order. Private homes, vehicles and other property were also attacked, and in some cases destroyed,” the UN reports.

President Condé has appealed to the population to maintain calm and order, and the calls have been repeated by several political and religious leaders, including some from the opposition. But on the other hand, the main opposition forces remain angered by what they claim to be a lacking willingness by the President to meet their demands, calling Mr Condé's desire for a national dialogue for "empty words".

The opposition still insists on postponing the legislative elections until a non-partisan framework for the polls has been achieved.

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