News / Africa

Voting Underway in Guinea

Guineans line up to cast their ballot at a polling station in Conakry, Guinea, 07 Nov 2010
Guineans line up to cast their ballot at a polling station in Conakry, Guinea, 07 Nov 2010
TEXT SIZE - +

Voting is underway in Guinea to choose a new president. The vote is meant to end nearly two years of military rule.

Nineteen weeks after this presidential election began, the two remaining candidates are finally facing off in a second round vote to determine Guinea's first truly-democratically elected leader.

Former prime minister Cellou Diallo and long-time opposition leader Alpha Conde are members of the country's two largest ethnic groups. And violent clashes between their supporters have delayed this vote several times over the past few months.

Guinea's acting military leader, General Sekouba Konate, was on television ahead of this vote warning that the army would not tolerate any violence. It is easy to start, he said, but difficult to end.

There is a special security force in place for this election. Human Rights Watch says that unit should act with discipline, neutrality, and the minimum use of force.

"The tension in Guinea is extremely high," said Corinne Dufka, the West Africa director for Human Rights Watch. "There is a great deal of ethnic and political tension that has risen, particularly in the last two or three weeks. Now what we are calling on is for the security forces to remain neutral and disciplined and abide by regulations that call on them to use minimum use of force because we think the possibility for violence from one party or the other is quite high."

Following the first round of voting, security forces used tear gas instead of live ammunition. But Dufka says that discipline broke down at the end of October in response to clashes between Diallo and Conde supporters. As Guinea moves to complete a transition to civilian rule, Dufka says security forces must help lead the way.

"The roll of the security forces is to protect the population and in this case the electorate as they cast their votes. Guinea has for over 50 years been ruled by authoritarian and abusive governments," added Dufka. "And this very important and historic election signals a transition from that previous authoritarian rule into a democratic and civilian one. So it is very, very important that security forces maintain discipline and accompany Guineans on this very important transition."

In a joint statement, the U.S. and French governments expressed deep concern about pre-election violence and asked security forces to refrain from the use of excessive force. Washington and Paris say they support General Konate's efforts to ensure the army's neutrality and say everyone in Guinea must place national interests above their own personal, ethnic, or political considerations, refraining from provocations or harassment that could incite violence.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid