Guinea’s President Alpha Conde called for calm on Wednesday as opposition protests over initial results from Sunday’s election, which showed him leading the field, turned deadly.
The violence follows the high-stakes election in which President Alpha Conde ran for a third term in a controversial bid that had already sparked mass protests.
With tensions already running high, Guinea’s main opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo on Monday declared victory in the election — before the announcement of the official results, which are expected this week.
Opposition supporters are deeply suspicious about the fairness of the poll, although the government insists that it was fair.
At least six people were killed, including two police officers, and many injured when supporters of Conde’s main rival Cellou Dalein Diallo set alight piles of old furniture and burned tyres in some opposition neighbourhoods of Conakry, Security Minister Damantang Albert Camara said.
There were also clashes in opposition strongholds outside the capital, he said. Two people died in Kissidougou, a city in the south east of Guinea, about 700 km (435 miles) from Conakry.
“I reiterate my appeal to all to calm and serenity, pending the outcome of the electoral process under way in our country,” Conde said in a statement. “If victory is mine, I remain open to dialogue and available to work with all Guineans.”
At least 13 people are reported to have been killed in violence since the election, in which Diallo has claimed victory based on his campaign’s tallies.
The push for a third term for Conde, 82, has sparked repeated protests over the past year, resulting in dozens of deaths. He says a constitutional referendum in March reset his two-term limit; his opponents say he is breaking the law by holding on to power.