In Guinea, three people had been killed on Thursday in clashes between the security forces and the youth of the town of Labé, in the centre of the country. Labé is one of the centres of contestation of the constitutional referendum requested by President Alpha Condé.
After these killings, the governor who declared war in Labé sent 17 military contingents. The contingents spread terror and fear in the city. They loot, burn shops and stores, smash vehicles to assuage their hatred, assault, beat children and women, arrest young men and bring them to unknown places.
On Friday morning, Labé woke up in worry after the violence on Thursday. “I am shocked by what has just happened,” reveals, with emotion, a manager of the administration of Labé. The city mourns three people: two young people shot dead in the afternoon, and a paramedic, taken to task by the security forces while trying to evacuate the body of a victim.
In the morning, this Thursday, barricades had been erected in the streets of Labé. The young demonstrators first tried to attack the governor. The defence and security forces then organized his evacuation and then broke a violent crackdown. Shots are fired, and two young men had been shot dead.
One of the two, injured, finds refuge in the city’s mosque. Despite mediation by the imam and the mayor, the security forces prevented his evacuation to the hospital. He died in the afternoon. A few hours later, the ambulance driver who came to get the body was shot.
“The young people are revolted, there have been too many deaths,” laments Mamadou Aliou Lally Diallo, mayor of Labé. This Friday, city officials fear a renewed tension, while the three victims could be buried during the day.
In the rest of the country, the situation is rather calm: the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution suspended its movement until Tuesday. It is a cease-fire to allow the inhabitants to do their shopping and on this Friday, day of prayer, for the Muslim community.
Guinea is especially waiting to know when the referendum on the new Constitution will take place. This question was raised in the Council of Ministers on Thursday. The date of the referendum must be announced in a presidential decree. According to a government source, the referendum may well take place at the same time as the legislative elections scheduled for February 16.
On the evening of Thursday, January 23, the home of the highly respected imam of Labé, in the Mosque district, was gassed by the security forces, on the sidelines of a demonstration against the adoption of a new constitution.
According to Elhadj Thierno Mamadou Badrou Bah, everything was gone when the security services refused demonstrators access to the regional hospital to deposit the body of the second gunshot victim named Mamadou Kossa Barry. Transporting the deceased to their home, they were surprised by a pickup truck that was going around.
According to him, despite his intervention, they were all gassed, a woman lost consciousness.
“When the pick-up came, I told the gendarmes to go that there is only one family who is there and that I have the situation under control, especially since the young people came with a body, so to go. They (the security services) backed away 10 meters and they gassed us. There was a woman who lost consciousness, some young people entered my yard, ’says the Imam.
He added that neither the governor nor the prefect – who is his big brother – had called him to testify their affliction.
”I haven’t spoken with any of them, but I hope we will talk about them afterwards so that I can be sure that I asked the police to go, they gassed us Said the regional secretary for religious affairs in Labé.
Note that a few days ago, it was the home of the religion leader of Foutah Elhadj Bano, which was attacked and significant material damage recorded.
Cellou Dalein Diallo leader of Guinean opposition and member of FNDC denounced repeated “attacks” on the symbols of wisdom of the Foutah, the opponent continues to raise his voice, accusing President Alpha Condé of “humiliating” an entire community.
After Elhadj Bano Bah, the general caliph of the Foutah, it is the great imam of Labé Elhadj Badourou Bah who had been sprayed tear gas at his home when young people came to present to him the body of a young man who was shot dead during demonstrations. Criticizing the behaviour of the police, which he says behave like “an occupying army”, Cellou Dalein Diallo delivered this Saturday, his reading in relation to these incidents. Extract.
“Today, the soldiers, gendarmes and police who are in Labé behave like an occupying army. Believe me, they burned shops and stores, beat women and children, arrested 10 year olds. They seem to want to refer them to Conakry. Even an occupying army cannot behave like that. Who gave them these instructions? It is under the instructions of Mr Alpha Condé who guarantees impunity to all those who violate the rights of those he considers his opposition. Unfortunately, he now considers an entire community as his opposition. Otherwise, how can we explain that in a city like Pita, they send a punitive expedition to the home of the Caliph of Foutah, break his cars, throw tear gas to his family and repeat the same thing in Labé 2 weeks later?
According to many sources, sellers of vegetables at the Yenguema market in Labé vigorously denounced the “behaviour” of law enforcement agents who used tear gas to dislodge them when they expected nothing.
On Saturday, January 25, 2020, in the holy city of Labé women could go to market. According to Mariama Bah, by the tear gas effect, some women and babies lost consciousness, “we were gassed by the security services, and they almost killed us. The agents they sent to Labé do not fear God; they have tired women and our children. As soon as we arrived, they threw us tear gas, some women lost consciousness, even babies lost consciousness, we fled Yenguema, and we are in Konkola on the hill with the head of the sector. Really may God separate us from Alpha Condé, young men do not tire us, it is the security agents who tire us. For Hadja Aïssata Camara,” it is sad but God will pay them, they have mothers, we are only trying to feed our children. ”