On November 14th , FNDC ( National Front for the Constitution Defense) organized a protest march aganst the modification of constitution for Alpha Conde’s third term. It started in the afternoon, around 1 pm but stopped by security forces which blocked the itinerary that demonstrators planned to follow. This march was supposed to take place on Fidel Castro motorway from Gbessia airport to Palais du People ( Peole’s Palace) where FNDC Leaders would deliver a speech but unfortunately it had been stopped at Kondeboundji, about 500 m from the departure point. Demonstrators were holding signs hostile to a third term for Alpha and the modification of the constitution. At Kondeboundji clashes broke out between demonstrators and security forces which used tear gas to disperse protesters. Demonstators riposted by throwing stones at security forces. Many people were wounded some by bullets and others arrested, vehicles and motorbikes damaged by police and gendarmerie. Espace TV cameras and internet videos showed policemen and gendarmes destroying vehicles and pursueing demonstrators in Kondebounji neighbourhoods. Even Sidya Touré’s and Abdoul Kabele’s cars were damaged by the police. Abdoul Kabélé Camara was respectively Minister of Defense and Minister of Security during Alpha Condé’s first and second Governments. As for Cellou Dalein, he was protected and saved his body guards.
Police continued the manhunt until Hamdallaye Bambeto and Cosa the strongholds of UFDG where they fired on 5 teenagers who died among them a high school sudent going to school wearing his uniform on Friday morning. All these victims belong to the Fulani ethnic group.
“The savage repression of the demonstration took place even though we were still in the party supposed to be authorized, we had not exceeded the limit of the authorized route. That’s where they went on the procession to gas people and unfortunately also fire live ammunition on the demonstrators because there were wounded. And unfortunately, they came back again on Prince axis to kill a 16-year-old student. Whatever the demonstration and the route were not there, they can not stay without coming on the axis to kill.
We deeply deplore and condemn this violence against protesters who were on the authorized part of the route. Moreover, the route that was to lead us to the people’s palace was tacitly authorized since they did not react within the 48 hours provided by law to mark their opposition to this route, ” said the President of the UFDG.
The Guinean opposition leader, Cellou Dalein Diallo, received on Thursday, November 14, 2019, the United Nations Special Representative for West Africa, Ibn Chambass at his private home in Dixinn. A visit shortly after the dispersal of demonstrators of the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC) with tear gas by the police.
Guinea is going through a deadly socio-political crisis related to President Alpa Condé’s desire to cling to power beyond his constitutional mandate. Today’s day was characterized by a crackdown on the FNDC demonstration against the 3rd term. It is in this heavy atmosphere that the UN diplomat and the Guinean opponent had a tête-à-tête for half an hour.
Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS)
At the end of the interview Ibn Chambass addressed the media present on the scene. “The people of Guinea have the solidarity of the United Nations, the Secretary-General himself is concerned about the situation prevailing in Guinea. It advises all political actors, civil society, stakeholders to favor dialogue to resolve their differences. The right of demonstration is a right guaranteed by the constitution of Guinea. So, it must be respected. But, we also know that in a democratic state, we must make sure that everything takes place in order with restraint and responsibility, “he said.
Continuing, Ibn Chambass said he was really surprised to see the incidents that marked the march of the NDF this Thursday, yet authorized by the authorities. “I arrived two days ago and then there was the demand for the demonstration that was allowed. So, we were happy, we said that things will be fine. Today, people went out to demonstrate, but there were some unfortunate incidents. So that’s what concerns us. We must be able to make demonstrations in this country normally, as in many countries of West Africa, without violence, without victims, “suggested Mr. Chambass.
Finally, the Guest of Cellou Dalein said that the United Nations are clear enough, they want to see the situation arrange for the protesters are protected, so that they can express themselves freely.
Mamadou Saliou Diallo