Gunfire And Protest Occur After President Alpha Condé Wins His Third Term In Guinea

On October 23, 2020, in the Guinea capital, gunfire and protests occurred after results revealed President Alpha Condé, aged 82, won a high stakes election. According to preliminary results from the election commission, Condé won twice as many votes as his rival, Cellou Dalein Diallo. In March, Condé called for a constitutional referendum to reset his two-term limit; many, as well as Diallo, had found this beaching law to maintain power. Cellou Dalein Diallo called the Condé win unconstitutional, stating his camp had found fraud and will contest the results in the constitutional court. Currently, Diallo’s house has been barricaded by security forces and is being guarded without any explanation.

In the Sofina neighbourhood of Corkny, Diallo’s supporters clashed with security forces while participating in the demonstrations. Most of the participants were youths between the ages of 10- 20 years old. Al Haji Syall, one of the protester’s fathers, told Al Jazeera that his son was only ten years old and was shot by security forces. Stating in an interview, “The military fired children ten-to twenty years old, they never pick on real men.”  A coalition group called  The National Front Defense of Constitution called for demonstrations. The leader Abdourahmane Sanoh and five others were arrested and charged with acts to compromise public security and disrupt public order. They had encouraged youth to participate in these demonstrations continuously. A spokesperson from the coalition Oumar Sylla Fonike Mengue told Al Jazeera news, “We will continue the struggle until they are released. We will not negotiate as long as they are detained.”

Repeated protesting has occurred since the Alpha Condé referendum, resulting in dozens of deaths, including at least 17 in skirmishes since the election results. According to Amnesty International, an article published in 2019 called out the appalling human rights ahead of the election. Amnesty found 70 protesters were killed between January 2015 and October 2019, with one victim being recorded as a seven-year-old shot in the head.

Guinea’s government had banned many protests in recent years to stop defenders, including journalists, from exercising their rights and freedom through peaceful assemblies. In 2009, a peaceful demonstration resulted in a massacre of 150 people and up to 100 women being victims of rape and sexual assault in the Conakry Stadium. Since this incident, there have been little to no trial proceedings to find justice. In a statement by the U.S. against the Security of the State of African Affairs, Tibor Nagy called out both parties to end violence and election disputes through peaceful and legal means.

Muzna Erum

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