The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) is deeply concerned by the continuous bloody crackdown on demonstrators opposed to attempts by President Conde to seek a third term in office, and calls on the authorities to call the security forces to order.
Since mid-October 2019, Guinea has recorded a series of killings in connection with street protests against the proposed modification of the country’s Constitution to allow President Conde to contest presidential elections after his two constitutional terms expire later this year. The security forces have used tear gas, live ammunition to quell the demonstrators, with about 20 people dead, including children and a security officer.
In the latest incident, two people were killed on January 13, 2020, one in the capital, Conakry, and the other in the northern town of Labé, some 400 kilometres from the capital.
Mamadou Sow, a 21-year-old high school student, was shot dead by security forces in Coza, in the Ratoma district of Conakry during the nation-wide demonstrations.
“There were clashes, stone-throwing and tear gas. At one point, we heard an explosion. We heard shouting and all the young people gathered around my nephew, who was on the ground, wounded in the chest,” the uncle of the deceased told the media.
Another demonstrator, Amadou Diallo, also died from gunshot wounds after the security forces opened fire to disperse demonstrators who were attacking a Court building in Labé.
While official sources indicate 15 people have so far been killed since the anti-Conti demonstrations began, other sources, including the coalition of organisations leading the campaign against the third term agenda, put the death toll at 20 people at least.
The MFWA is alarmed at the increasing death toll from police brutalities against demonstrators and urge the authorities to end the use of live bullets in controlling these demonstrations. The right to peaceful assembly and procession is a fundamental human right and people must not lose their lives for exerting this right.