The Guinean government on Wednesday October 28 lightened the security system in place since the presidential election, especially around the home of the opposition leader, while President Alpha Condé, proclaimed winner by the electoral commission, made his first outing in ten days. According to the provisional results announced on October 24, the head of state, 82, was re-elected for a controversial third term by obtaining 59.5% of the votes cast on October 18.
Opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo was credited with 33.5% of the vote, a score he disputes. Mr. Diallo had even proclaimed his victory the day after the election. Clashes then erupted, for a week before gradually subsiding. According to the government, the unrest killed 21 people, including members of the security forces. The opposition denounces for its part a “Bloody repression” killing at least 27 people.
France on Wednesday expressed its “Concern” on the situation in Guinea, believing that doubts about the credibility of the results should be “Raised transparently”. Also “Concerned” by the questions surrounding the reliability of the ballot, the United States “Condemned violence” and urged “All parties to peacefully resolve electoral disputes”. “We urge the authorities to immediately investigate the allegations of excessive use of force by the security forces”, said the American embassy in Conakry in a statement.
More discreet security forces
For the first time in days, the security forces were less present in the suburbs of Conakry, deemed favorable to the opposition, according to an AFP journalist and witnesses. While police and gendarmerie vehicles were still present at crossroads in neighborhoods such as Bambéto, Cosa, Wanindara and Sonfonia, the army, which had been deployed as reinforcements, was much less visible.
“We were surprised to note this morning that the soldiers pre-positioned in our sector have packed their bags”, confided a resident of Sonfonia, Souleymane Bangoura. The security forces which sealed off Cellou Dalein Diallo’s home also withdrew. “We noticed at midday sharp that we could now go out and re-enter my concession. They packed up without warning ”Mr. Diallo told AFP.
The lifting of this blockade had been demanded the day before by mediators from the Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU) and the UN.
Cellou Dalein Diallo, beaten by Alpha Condé in 2010 and 2015, announced his intention to challenge these results in court. The opposition has until early next week to appeal to the Constitutional Court, which will then have five days to deliver the final results.
“Questions about the credibility of the result”
On Tuesday evening, Mr. Diallo welcomed the position taken by the European Union (EU), whose foreign minister, Josep Borrell, stressed that “Questions remain as to the credibility of the result, in particular as regards the reporting of the minutes and the final count of the votes”.
Reelected in 2015 for a second and final term, Mr. Condé stood for a third, arguing that the adoption in March of a new Constitution reset the presidential term counter to zero. But his opponents have denounced a “Constitutional coup”.
The outgoing president made his first public outing since voting day on Wednesday, visiting two hospitals. He first spoke for half an hour at the military hospital in Conakry with wounded police and gendarmes in the capital and in the provinces, before visiting Donka hospital, where civilians are being treated.
“I wanted to see the various victims, both at the level of the police and civilians”, he explained when he left, saying he noticed that “Many police forces received buckshot bullets”. “I congratulate and thank our doctors for the care they practiced on these victims indifferently, whether military or civilian. This is extremely important for us, because all Guineans are equal before health and before the law ”, added Condé.