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Two Protesters Have Been Killed During Continued Anti-Government Protests in Guinea

Thousands of Guineans continue to protest against President Alpha Condé seeking a third term.

Guinea continues to be engulfed in anti-government protests which started in mid-October of last year. The protests are in response to proposed amendments to the West African country's constitution which will see President Alpha Condé running for a third term in this year's elections.

According to the BBC, two protesters have been shot dead during the anti-government protests which have brought Guinea to a standstill.


Among the protesters killed was a student from the capital city of Conakry and another youth from Labe, a city in the northern region of Guinea. Aljazeera reports that at least 20 protesters and one security officer have been killed since the massive demonstrations began.

The National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC) is the coalition of opposition parties and civil societies which has been organizing the demonstrations and mobilizing protesters. The FNDC issued a statement which partially read: "The FNDC's call for resistance is being widely followed in several cities in Guinea. This has resulted in a total paralysis of the main roads, the closure of shops and businesses."

Speaking at one of the protests held last year, prominent opposition leader Cellou Diallo said that, "We encourage citizens to continue to demonstrate - today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow - until our legitimate demands are satisfied. We need a clear, firm and irrevocable declaration from Alpha Condé renouncing a third term."

While President Condé has said in the past that a third term would be dependent on the "will of the people", this is however, very unlikely. According to local media reports, a massive campaign is currently underway to support and usher in the new constitution.

Protests are largely concentrated in Conakry, Boffa and N'Zerekore.

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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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