Guinea: still no official results or lull

The war of numbers is being played out on two fronts in Guinea. First, the contestation of the results of the presidential election on October 18, while the vote counting process is still ongoing. The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) published on Wednesday evening the results of 16 new constituencies out of 38 – only 18 are missing. The institution has not yet recovered all of the minutes from the polling stations, “But we are putting pressure to obtain what we lack in three constituencies”, assured its president Kabinet Cisse this Thursday morning. From there, we could know, within a maximum of 72 hours, the name of the official winner. For his part, the opponent Cellou Dalein Diallo claimed his victory on Monday. A document published this Wednesday evening by the electoral commission of his party, the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG), credits him with 53.8% of the vote, against 39.4% for the outgoing president and candidate for a 3e Alpha Condé mandate. The participation rate, meanwhile, would be 65.66% according to this source.

The death toll of the post-election violence that erupted late Monday afternoon constitutes the 2e forehead. The Minister of Security and Civil Protection Albert Damatang Camara reported on Wednesday 9 dead including two police officers between Monday and Wednesday. He points in particular to “multiple attacks on peaceful citizens” on the road Le Prince, in the capital. The UFDG for its part counted at least 13 dead, civilians, just for the day of Wednesday. Two contradictory results, which became even worse Thursday.

Read also Guineans voted peacefully in a test ballot

New victim in the ranks of the FNDC

In Pita, a locality in Middle Guinea (Fouta Djalon), Daouda Kanté, karate teacher and coordinator of the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC), was shot and killed. This is the second death in two days of a representative of the FNDC, a movement of political parties and civil society organizations that opposes a 3e term of Alpha Condé since April 2019.

According to the movement, which fears that its members may be particularly targeted in this repressive context, he was killed by the Airborne Troop Battalion (BATA), a red beret commando initially based at Camp Alpha Yaya in Conakry. Clashes between groups of young people and the police broke out on Wednesday in this town of Fouta, killing two, according to our colleagues from Guineenews.

In Conakry, there are at least four new deaths on the “axis” Le Prince, a long double track which divides the capital in two and aligns districts deemed to be pro-opposition. They are 4 young men aged 18 to 21: a student and three drivers. All were shot dead early Thursday afternoon in the neighborhoods of Koloma and Sonfonia Gare according to their families. The Prince road caught fire late Monday afternoon. Thousands of people took to the streets to celebrate the presidential victory that Cellou Dalein Diallo had just won. But the situation very quickly degenerated into clashes between some of its militants and the Defense and Security Forces, killing 4 people. In total, the UFDG has deplored 17 deaths in Conakry since Monday.

Conakry still under tension

Several areas were still boiling this Thursday. Around noon, in Hamdallaye, the district of the axis closest to the center, a pile of rubbish is still smoking. In the direction of the Bambeto roundabout, one kilometer higher, shots are heard. Emerging on a motorbike from the thick dark cloud that blocks the horizon, Nabi, 28, phone in hand, recounts the scene: “We were in the crowd. Several angry young people threw stones at the gendarmes. They had made roadblocks to prevent them from entering the neighborhoods. They even broke streetlights to create roadblocks. The gendarmes advanced and fired in the air, spraying gas. At Hamdallaye Pharmacie, towards the Gnariwada crossroads, we heard people screaming. There were two injured, two young boys. One had been shot in the stomach, and the other in the shoulder. They were evacuated to the John Paul II hospital. We did not see who fired, but there were only 3 gendarme pick-ups and the big tear gas truck. An hour later, more cries. It is a young “of about 17-18 years” who is on the ground this time, also wounded by bullet. “People still rebelled against the gendarmes, but they continued to shoot,” he says. And to show a video which mainly captured scenes of panic against a backdrop of heavy gunfire.

Why this anger, and especially this determination in the face of armed men? “There are the first results of the CENI which give Alpha (Condé) the winner, while many residents celebrated Cellou’s victory, but also the power cut. Since Tuesday, there has been no more electricity in the neighborhood, ”says Boubacar, 32 years old.

Tensions also revived by the house arrest imposed on the president of the UFDG Cellou Dalein Diallo. Around his home in La Minière, in the town of Dixinn, are posted 7 pick-ups and two trucks of the gendarmerie and the CMIS (Mobile Intervention and Security Company), a riot police unit. This device was deployed on Tuesday evening. As for its headquarters in the CBG Hamdallaye district, usually crowded with militants, it was cordoned off, after an intervention this Wednesday evening by the Defense and Security Forces who “(forced) the access doors to the offices and (everything) destroyed on their way, ”according to a statement from the UFDG. Closed by a padlocked chain, the gate is now guarded by two pick-ups of police and gendarmes. “This country belongs to us,” says one of them.

Read also Guinea: the thousand and one facets of Alpha Condé

Regional crisis

While the human toll is increasing day by day in Guinea without eliciting the slightest reaction from the international community, the Afrikajom think-tank, created in Dakar by human rights defender Alioune Tine published a press release on “the regional crisis of democracy ”in West Africa. He points to “the dysfunctions and the failure of national regulatory and arbitration bodies (CENI, CEI, CENA, Constitutional Council, or Constitutional Court), or regional (ECOWAS, African Union, etc.) which no longer fulfill their functions. for regulating violence in West Africa ”. Noting that “nothing, absolutely nothing seems to be able to stop some African presidents who want to drag on in power by all means”, the think-tank advocates an extraordinary ECOWAS Summit, a profound reform of the ECOWAS Commission and to “rethink the observation of elections which is running on empty and (is)”. In Guinea, the joint mission of ECOWAS, the African Union and the UN, dispatched in early October to Conakry, was satisfied with its meeting with the outgoing president and candidate for a 3e Alpha Condé mandate. “He is a democrat and he will always continue to prove his democratic character”, declared the head of mission, the Ghanaian Minister of Foreign Affairs Shirley Ayorkor Botchway.

Read also Guinea: tensions punctuate the end of the electoral campaign

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