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July 17, 2013

Ethnic Violence in Southern Guinea Said to Kill/Injure Many

by James Butty

Authorities in Guinea have imposed a curfew in the southern part of the country where ethnic fighting has left about 20 people dead and dozens wounded.  

Journalist Mamadou Dian Balde of the Independent and Democrat newspapers in Guinea said the violence started when members of the Guerze, or Kpelle, tribe beat to death an ethnic Konianke, or Mandingo, youth after accusing him of stealing gasoline.

“It all started Monday in a village about 40 kilometers from Nzerekore (the provincial capital), the home of Moussa Dadis Camara, former military junta leader.  The Kpelle accused a young boy of stealing fuel at a gas station. They killed the boy and the parents of the boy decided to seek revenge. They went to attack the Kpelle chief in Nzerekore town,” he said.

Balde said it is possible the casualty figures are higher.

“More than 20 people have been killed and more than 60 injured, according to medical sources.  Tuesday’s violence was continuing into the evening,” he said.

He said the government has sent its two top military people to help restore order.
Butty interview with Balde

“Reinforcements have been sent.  They have sent the presidential minister of security and Moussa Tiegboro Camara, the general secretary who fights against drugs and terrorism.  The two officers were sent yesterday to Nzerekore to try to stop the violence. They are from that part of the country,” Balde said.

Balde said the Guerze and Konianke have a history of violence between them.