Several People Have Been Killed During Protests in Guinea
Guineans are protesting against changes to the constitution which will allow President Alpha Condé to run for a third term.
At least five people have died during protests in Guinea's Conakry and Mamou after police opened fire on them, according to Aljazeera. The protests come just after President Alpha Condé instructed his government to look into drafting a new constitution that will allow him to remain in power past the permissible two terms. Conde's second five-year term will come to an end next year but as is the unfortunate case with many African leaders, the 81-year-old is intent on running for office yet again.
During the past weekend, security forces arrested several activists and civil society leaders ahead of this week's planned protests. Bloomberg reports that among those who were arrested was Abdourahmane Sanoh, the coordinator for the National Front for the Defense—a coalition of of opposition political parties, trade unions as well as civil society groups.
Opposition leader Cellou Diallo has said that, "The goal of the demonstration, which was meant to be insurrectional, was clearly to provoke a violent response from the military to cause a lot of deaths in order to inflame the situation." He also added 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 Condé has said that his third term will be dependent on the "will of the people", this is unlikely. A massive campaign is currently underway to support the new constitution. A billboard located just outside of Guinea's National Assembly building reads: "I am young. Yes to a referendum. Yes to a new Constitution." Several similar signs are being placed across the country.