24/7 Live News Portal

At least nine dead in clashes between police and opponents in Guinea-Conakry

Clashes between police and young protesters, this Thursday in Conakry.JOHN WESSELS / AFP

At least nine people have died, according to the Government, and 16 according to the opposition, in the serious clashes between protesters and security forces that began in Guinea-Conakry in the hours following the presidential elections held last Sunday and that continued this Thursday . Meanwhile, the electoral commission (CENI) has published the results of 20 of the 38 constituencies, in which the outgoing president Alpha Condé obtains an absolute majority in 13 of them. However, his rival, the opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo, claims to have won the global count with 53% of the votes.

The post-electoral crisis that the West African country is going through continues to worsen and this Wednesday it experienced one of its most violent days with multiple clashes between police officers and young opponents in the streets of Conakry, the capital. Of the nine deaths recognized by the Executive, six died from a gunshot wound and one of them is a security agent who was lynched when he was removing a barricade in the Bambeto neighborhood. For its part, the opposition speaks of 16 deaths, 10 of them this Wednesday. Violent incidents are also repeated in many parts of the country, such as in the regions of Coyah, Kissidougou or in Forest Guinea.

This Thursday the clashes in Conakry continued and the tension has crossed the borders of Guinea-Conakry. In the last hours there have been protests against the outgoing president in front of the main Guinean embassies, from Dakar to Berlin, passing through Paris or London, where incidents have occurred. In the French capital, the police have dispersed protesters with tear gas. Both the Economic Commission of West African States (Cedeao) and the African Union (AU), which sent observation missions, gave their approval to the voting day, which took place without major incidents.

Alpha Condé, in power since 2010 and who is opting for a controversial third term after having reformed the Constitution to make it possible, launched a message on Wednesday asking for calm and serenity through his Twitter account. “Of course there will be a winner, but that does not mean that democracy is threatened or that social peace becomes impossible,” said the president, who added that “if I win victory, I remain open to dialogue and available to work with all Guineans ”.

For his part, Cellou Dalein Diallo, defeated by Condé in 2010 and 2015, denounced that his house was surrounded by forces of order and sent a message to the police and the Army after reiterating that the results in his possession, obtained by the representatives of his party in the electoral colleges, they gave him victory. “I ask fellow members of the defense and security forces to show restraint” because “their mission is to protect Guinea, to execute an illegal order is not Republican,” he added in a video spread through the networks in which he appeared with a portrait of Nelson Mandela in the background.

This post-election crisis is the epilogue of a long series of protests led by the opposition in the last year in which at least fifty people have died, 90 according to its organizers, against Condé’s third term. As the elections approached the tension between the two groups increased. The Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG), Diallo’s party, participated in the elections still questioning the entire process and disavowing the CENI and the Constitutional Court as legitimate bodies to proclaim the results, considering that they were partial.

Less than 24 hours after the polls closed, and based on the results compiled by his auditors, Diallo proclaimed himself the winner in the elections and thousands of his militants took to the streets of the main cities to celebrate, which led to the first confrontations with the forces of order. The government reproached the opposition leader for anticipating results that had not yet been announced, even warning him of a possible lawsuit for it.