Guinea: Washington condemns the violence and criticizes the power of Condé
On Wednesday, the United States condemned violence linked to the constitutional referendum in Guinea on Sunday, which according to the opposition 30 lives, and criticized the government.
The collective who is leading the battle against the change of constitution that President Alpha Condé wanted was estimated that at least “nine people were killed in Conakry, one in Dubréka (west), one in Mamou (center) and 21 in N’Zérékoré (south)”. He reports “hundreds of gunshot wounds”.
Authorities spoke on Tuesday about six deaths, two of which were due to an “accident” and a health problem. In a statement from its embassy, the United States expressed its “grave concern” and condemned “all abuses”.
Washington says “sharing” international concerns over the organization of the vote, the regularity of voter lists maintained and the absence of dialogue between the government and the opposition, an absence that the government has not addressed, states US diplomacy.
The representative of West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, expressed his “great concern”.
In a press release, he condemned “all acts of violence, excessive use of force” as well as “violence with community cooperation” that occurred in N’Zérékoré (south).
France estimated Tuesday that the referendum and the legislative ones held at the same time were “not credible”.
After months of tensions that had already claimed the lives of at least 32 civilians and a gendarme, President Alpha Condé decided to hold the referendum and to ignore opposition protests, which accused him of running for a third term.
“At least 35 people are missing”
The government has not always provided an exact indication of participation or announcement of results. However, the Minister of Terrorism, Bouréma Condé, assured on Wednesday that “the vast majority of Guineans” could have voted “in discipline, calm and total calm”.
The boycott call “has resulted in some places in acts of violence,” he said, citing about 450 “vandalized” or “ransacked” polling stations and a death near Mamou.
Residents and officials in N’Zérékoré reported between Sunday and Tuesday a result of armed gang abuse, against people, religious services, homes. This violence intersects with ethnic and religious affiliation and supposed allegiance to the government or the opposition.
The extent of the human toll for this violence was still precisely determined. A senior municipal official said “no one can say for sure” the actual number of victims. He puts out the figure “23 dead”.
A doctor at N’Zérékoré Hospital said “22 bodies were taken to the morgue”.
“At least 35 people are missing,” says a local civil society official who speaks on condition of anonymity.