News / Africa

Ethnic Clashes Erupt in Guinea Capital

Anti-riot policemen deploy across Conakry to separate rival gangs, March 1, 2013.
Anti-riot policemen deploy across Conakry to separate rival gangs, March 1, 2013.
Reuters
— Rival gangs fought with knives and truncheons in Guinea's crumbling seaside capital on Friday as ethnic tensions worsened ahead of an election in the unstable West African nation, witnesses said.
 
Security forces in full anti-riot gear piled into the backs of pick-up trucks and deployed across Conakry to separate the fighters as President Alpha Conde's government appealed for calm.
 
"It has become very bad. People set fire to a car right in front of me. I've seen four people injured in the fighting," said Souleymane Bah, a resident of Bambeto, one of several areas where clashes were reported.
 
"We've locked ourselves inside a bank. I can see people fighting outside," resident Abdoulaye Sylla told Reuters by telephone from Conakry's Dixxin neighborhood.
 
Residents in other areas fled in panic as the gangs from rival ethnic groups roamed the streets, according to witnesses.
 
The long-delayed legislative vote, tentatively set for May, is needed to complete a transition to civilian rule after a 2008 military coup, and could open the door to hundreds of millions of dollars in European aid.
 
But preparations for the poll have been hampered by opposition claims the government is seeking to rig the outcome in advance, leading to a political impasse and sparking sporadic street protests that often turn violent.
 
Politics in Guinea are mainly drawn along ethnic lines with the opposition coalition broadly supported by members of the Peul ethnicity — the country's biggest ethnic group — and the government supported by the Malinke.
 
The fighting on Friday follows two days of anti-government protests that have sharpened those divisions. One civilian was killed in those protests and scores of protesters and police were injured.
 
The United States Embassy in Guinea issued a statement late on Thursday expressing concern about the violence and calling for restraint. "The United States continues to urge the Republic of Guinea to work with all parties to ensure that peaceful and transparent elections take place," it said.
 
Conde's government said on Friday it called on citizens to remain calm, and said it would hold talks with representatives of the country's political parties next week.
 
Conde narrowly won a 2010 presidential election — billed as the former French colony's first free poll since 1958 independence — promising to unite Guinea in the same way Nelson Mandela did after apartheid in South Africa. But many of his compatriots say he has failed.
 
Opposition leader and former premier Sidya Toure said opposition supporters were defending themselves.
 
"The situation has clearly degenerated into inter-ethnic violence between the Peuls and Malinkes," he said. "We've already called for calm, but what can you tell someone who is being attacked with a club?"
 
Conde has promised prosperity for the former French colony's 10 million people, which is the world's top supplier of bauxite, the raw material in aluminum.
 
Guinea's economy produces only about $1.50 per person per day despite a wealth of natural resources, including the world's largest untapped iron ore deposit.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: M.M Diakite from: China
March 02, 2013 4:08 AM
The main problem in Guinea is that those who progressively killed the country in decades of governance are those who claim themeselves as opponents. They oppose to what? They will do everything in there hands to either topple down Conde or kill him. But they can not because their battle is not blessing by God.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid