No fewer than three civilians have been shot dead in protests against Guinea’s military leaders yesterday, an opposition coalition and the country’s justice minister have confirmed.
According to reports, Guinea’s top prosecutor has already made a case for a crackdown on protest organisers and participants.
The rally which was held on Thursday was called by the outlawed opposition National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC), which calls Guinea’s military rulers ‘dictatorial’ and is demanding the return of civilian rule and the release of political prisoners.
Since the elected but unpopular government was overthrown in a coup last September, Guinea has been suspended by West African regional grouping Ecowas, who want military leaders to shorten the 39-month transition period they’ve announced.
Ecowas has warned that it will mete out “more severe sanctions” than those already in place if Guinea does not comply.
Meanwhile, the ruling military junta for Guinea have on Thursday made an open accusation on the president of the West African regional bloc ECOWAS of ‘lies’ and dishonesty over his recent call for some sanctions on Conakry if it seeks a three-year transition back to civilian rule.
The poor but mineral-rich nation has also been ruled by the military since a coup which had taken place in September 2021 that ousted president Alpha Conde, in power since 2010.
‘Crude lies and intimidation are backward steps that dishonour (Economic Community of West African States chief Umaro Sissoco Embalo) and at the same time tarnish ECOWAS’ image,’ Colonel Amara Camara, a senior junta figure, said in a video.
During a visit to Guinea, Embalo had also revealed that he had secured an agreement with the junta which would help to give way to elected civilians after two years, which Camara described as a ‘lie’.