The Guineans of France will probably not be able to vote this Sunday, October 18. According to Abdoulay Bah, President of the Coordination of Guinean Associations in France (CAGF) who closely followed this issue, it is the health crisis that prevents the holding of elections. In the diaspora of 45,000 Guineans, it is estimated that this excuse allows above all to “Muzzle” the expression of these citizens of abroad.
Since the announcement at the end of August of Alpha Condé’s candidacy for a third term, voices in Guinea and in the diaspora have been rising to denounce this coup. The Constitution limits the number of presidential terms to two, but with the adoption at the beginning of the year of a new Basic Law, the head of state maintains the limit by resetting the counters to zero.
In Paris, protests have been linked for several weeks against this “Undemocratic election” and “Unconstitutional”. The last one, on October 10, allowed fifty people, including many young people, to cry out once again their opposition to this third term. Members of the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC) and the Alliance of Patriotic Forces for a Free Guinea (AFPGL) successively spoke for four hours to ask the “Professor Condé” (one of his nicknames) to withdraw from the election for the good of the country. “He can no longer bring anything to the country, asserts Mamady Bangoura, coordinator of the FNDC-France. If you see the state of our hospitals, I’m ashamed of myself. “
The head of state has “disappointed” his people
Very politicized, these Guineans in Paris feel “Betrayed” by Alpha Condé “Who was part of our diaspora for forty years”, argue Mme Bangoura. Former historical opponent who lived in France for a long time, the Guinean head of state “Disappointed” his own, he who had promised a new era to his country. “This is why our saliva is bitter”, adds Mamady Bangoura who, like others, believes that it is the role of the diaspora to denounce the actions of the head of state.
“We are here to support and encourage our compatriots back home. Because there, they are afraid of reprisals and of being put in prison. In France, we live in a country of law where we can freely express ourselves ”, continues Campel Cissé, executive secretary of the AFPGL. Oury Kandé, 21, has demonstrated against Alpha Condé several times. “I keep fighting here, explains the young man. But I am fighting for the friends there and the future generations. Not for me. I will never go back to Guinea again. “
It is already 10:21 pm His accommodation center at Porte de la Chapelle will close in nine minutes. Oury says he left Guinea in October 2017 because of the president and his ” dictatorship “ imposed in ten years of reign. In 2016, his father, who had demonstrated with the opposition – the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG) – was arrested and thrown in prison. Three months later, he died behind bars, he says.
Oury said he also ended up in cell after taking part in a march with the UFDG on 2 August 2017, demanding that local elections be held, which are constantly postponed. There, the police allegedly beat him. Proofs ? He shows the scars on his face. “When I look at myself in a mirror, my heart sinks. I have changed a lot “, he says, definitely sad.
Second nationality to seek asylum
It is this deterioration in the political life of his country that is said to have prompted him to leave Conakry and join France in February 2018 after more than a year of traveling through Senegal, Mauritania, Morocco and Spain. Once in Paris, he submitted an application for refugee status.
Like Oury, more than 4,000 Guineans, often young, have applied for asylum according to the French Office for Immigration and Integration (OFII) since the beginning of the year. “It is even the second nationality to seek asylum in France, just behind the Afghans”, adds OFII. Steadily increasing since 2016, as recalled by the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (Ofpra).
“Guinea is not a country at war, of course, but there is a question of non-respect for human rights, demonstrations that are repressed, a gagged youth, not to mention the economic situation, the corruption “, advance Abdoulay Bah to explain this important leak.
Only 16% of them obtained protection from France during 2019 and 24% in 1er October 2020, according to Ofpra. “The reasons invoked relate, in large part, to political considerations or to societal issues such as the risk of female genital mutilation, the threat of undergoing a forced marriage or even the fears experienced because of a sexual orientation or a gender identity, says Ofpra. The politically motivated requests come mainly from activists of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea, who refer to their personal background as activists and their participation in demonstrations against state power. ” Oury Kandé did not benefit.