Accessibility links

10 Injured, 1 Dead, in Second Day of Protests in Guinea's Capital

  • Reuters

Guinea security forces, center, face people rioting and burning rubbish and other goods in the streets of Conakry, April 13, 2015.

Guinea security forces, center, face people rioting and burning rubbish and other goods in the streets of Conakry, April 13, 2015.

Gunfire erupted in several neighborhoods in Guinea's capital, Conakry, on Tuesday as hundreds of opposition supporters clashed with security forces for a second day of protests over the timing of elections, witnesses said.

The government said about 10 people had been injured, including one with bullet wounds. At least six people were hit by bullets on Monday. The government denied security forces shot at people protesting and called for an investigation.

Government spokesman Damantang Albert Camara said one person died on Tuesday after falling into a ravine during violence. Medical sources and rights group Amnesty International said a man had been killed during Monday's clashes.

Opposition parties have called the protests to try to pressure the government to hold a local election ahead of a presidential vote, as laid out in a 2013 agreement between Guinea's rival political factions.

The government does not recognize the clause on the order of voting and has set the presidential election for Oct. 11, with the local election due early next year.

Analysts say that holding the local election ahead of the presidential vote would give President Alpha Conde's rivals a more influence in the organization of the vote. The government denies that delaying the local election will have an impact on free and fair elections.

Rich in bauxite and iron ore, Guinea has seen its mining potential hamstrung by years of political instability.

Witnesses and a security source said youths burning tires and manning barricades clashed with security forces, paralyzing main roads running through poorer neighborhoods.

Medical sources said the man who died on Monday was hit by a projectile but it was not clear what the projectile had been. Amnesty International said the 30-year-old man had died after being shot in the chest.

“The Guinean authorities must not bring back the old demons of violence. All those responsible for the excessive use of force must be clearly identified and brought to trial,” the group said.

Protests in Guinea regularly turn violent and the government has ordered soldiers to remain in barracks, while the police and gendarmes on the streets have been instructed not to use lethal force.

Residents in opposition strongholds such as Bambeto, Hamdallaye and Cosa have reported shooting but it was not clear who was responsible.

“It hasn't let up since yesterday,” resident Adiatou Bah said. “This morning I heard gunfire and I stayed at home.”

The government called for talks to ease tensions. Dozens of people were killed in election-related violence during the 2010 presidential vote and the legislative election in 2013.

However, opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo on Tuesday ruled out any talks unless the government scrapped the existing election timetable.