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Guinean army forces patrol in the street in Conakry on March 22, 2020 during a constitutional referendum in the country

50 Deaths Recorded in Guinea's Protests Ahead of National Elections

Amnesty International has reported that 50 people have died in anti-government protests following President Alpha Conde's run for third presidential bid.

Guinea president Alpha Conde's run for third term has reportedly resulted in the death of 50 people ahead of planned national elections this month, Al Jazeera reports. An Amnesty International report has condemned the government's stance on non accountability for the reported deaths. The West African country has been ruled with an iron fist since last year since rising opposition against Conde.

Read: Zimbabwe Announces "Patriot Bill" Amidst Rising Human Rights Protests

Conde was a long-time oppositional leader before he was elected in 2010 and was reportedly seen as the people's hope. He was elected again in 2015, but shortly afterwards, he lost favour with his citizens especially when he indicated to run for a third term.

Political tensions have been steadily rising with increased incidences of violence towards protestors. Amnesty International reports that over 200 people have been injured, 70 imprisoned and 50 shot dead in anti-Conde protests since October last year. The government's callous actions have yet to be formally investigated or accounted for. Conde's authoritarianism contravenes Guinea's Constitution which allows freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

National elections are set to take place on the 18th of October. Original elections in December 2018 were postponed due to political delay which led to the amendment of the Constitution and granted Conde the opportunity to run for a third term. Oppositional party leaders for National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC) had planned demonstrations for the 6th of October against him, but the 82-year-old Conde sent an army to siege the party leader's house.

Amnesty International conducted over 100 interviews and cites that even children were shot in the back, neck and even in the head. Fear of Conde is so entrenched that it is reported that even mortuaries do not accept bodies of people killed in anti-Conde protests. However, citizens are undeterred and protests continue. Power mongering is a thorn in Africa's side, Ivory Coast's president Alassane Outarra is also running for third term.


6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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