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A Nation’s Outcry: Protests in Guinea

Guinea lies on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. The West African country has sparked controversy in the media following its recent presidential election. 

A rundown of what’s going on in Guinea

The campaign saw a bid for power between Alpha Condé, who’s been Guinea’s president since December 2010, and his opponent and former president, Cellou Dalein Diallo. However, unlike many of the elections that took place this year, presidential candidate Condé ran for a third term, contrary to Guinea’s constitution which limits presidents so they can only run for a maximum of two terms. 

On 7 October 2019, protests were sparked after an opposition group called the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC) caught wind of Condé’s intentions to run for a third term. A week after the protests started, clashes ensued between the police and protesters and five people were shot dead.

In a time jump from October 2019 to July 2020, an Amnesty International report estimated at least 50 people have been killed, 200 people have sustained injuries, and more than 70 people arbitrarily detained.

In September 2020, Condé squashed this concern when he filed papers in the Constitutional Court to validate his run for a third term for the October elections. Condé claims that this decision was fuelled by the citizens in Guinea as a referendum in March assisted in altering presidential term times.

On 18 October 2020, Condé grasped onto political victory with 2.4 million votes versus 1.26 million for opponent Diallo.

Following the election

Once the announcement was made that Condé secured his third term, people returned to the streets to protest against, what it seems, Condé’s never-ending decade of power. However, the military retaliated with unnecessary force on protesters and threw tear gas into crowds. Reportedly, in the days following the announcement nine people had already been killed. Likewise, it’s not only the Guineans that have voiced their opposition to the constitutional referendum and the violence against protesters. The United States and other nations have also condemned the injustice in Guinea and its fragmented “democracy”.

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