Demonstrations against the ruling military junta of Guinea’s handling of plans for a return to civilian rule have brought the capital Conakry to a standstill.
At least one person was killed and several injured in clashes involving police during protests in opposition to the military government’s decision to settle on a 2025 date to return to democracy.
The National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC) – a coalition of non-governmental groups and opposition parties – said the victim died after being hit by a live bullet in the Conakry suburb of Hamdallaye.
Authorities had officially banned the protests, which led to a push back from young demonstrators in several areas seen as opposition strongholds in the capital.
Earlier, the FNDC called for the demonstrations to condemn what they have called the “systematic refusal to establish a credible dialogue to define the terms of the transition” by the military junta, which came in to power after Guinea endured its third successful military coup since independence. Army officers, led by head of the special forces Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, stormed the presidential palace in Conakry and, following a shootout, detained President Alpha Condé.
Promising to change the political landscape of Guinea, Doumbouya announced on state television that the government was dissolved and the Constitution annulled.
The coup came after Conde, who led the country for nearly 11 years, drew fierce opposition after pushing through a new Constitution in 2020 that allowed him to run for a third presidential term.
In May, 2022, Guinea’s Attorney General Alphonse Charles Wright ordered legal proceedings against the former president and 26 of his former officials for alleged crimes, including acts of violence while in office. The charges against 84-year-old Conde and his allies range from complicity in murder and assault to destruction of property. Other alleged crimes include detention, torture, kidnapping, disappearances, rape and other sexual abuse and looting.