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CrisisWatch Guinea

Deteriorated Situation

Security forces stepped up crackdown on protests against President Condé’s alleged plan to run for third term, leaving at least six dead. Following calls by National Front for the Defence of the Constitution, coalition of opposition parties and civil society groups against constitutional change that could pave way for Condé’s re-election later this year, protesters gathered 6, 13, 21, 22, and 23 Jan in capital Conakry and other cities. Clashes with security forces left two civilians dead in Conakry 13 Jan, one in regional capital Labé (centre) same day, and three others in Labé 23 Jan. In strongholds of main opposition party Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea in country’s centre, protesters 14 Jan vandalised govt buildings in Labé, Lélouma and Pita; 21 Jan reportedly ransacked police station and prison in Dalaba, freeing seventeen prisoners and looting guns; 22 Jan burnt down police station in Télimélé. Govt 24 Jan said constitutional referendum could take place in Feb. Ahead of legislative elections due 16 Feb, President Condé and ministers toured country and preparations continued. Notably, Condé visited Kindia (west) 6 Jan and PM Fofana visited Kankan (east) 14 Jan. Electoral commission 9 Jan said 40 parties had put forward candidates and released updated electoral roll adding over two million voters, prompting opposition to warn of alleged voter duplicates and irregular enlistment of minors in govt strongholds. Campaign launched 16 Jan. Constitutional Court 9 Jan heard seven members of electoral commission after they filed complaint to denounce commission president’s alleged mismanagement.

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Briefing / Africa

Guinea’s Other Emergency: Organising Elections

Guinea approaches the second free presidential election in its history under difficult circumstances. Unless the government convenes a serious dialogue with the opposition, it risks electoral violence and exacerbating ethnic divisions.

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