Man Shot Dead During Campaign Clashes In Guinea

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A man was shot dead Wednesday in a central Guinean city shaken by clashes since the prime minister visited it the day before to campaign for President Alpha Conde’s re-election.

 

Security forces on Wednesday shot and killed Habib Petel Diallo, 20, during a protest in the city of Dalaba against the premier’s visit, the man’s brother Lamine Diallo said.

A police officer who asked not to be named said the young man had died with a shot to the head.

Guinean authorities have not officially confirmed the death.

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The latest incident in Dalaba follows dozens of deaths in previously anti-government protests, during demonstrations against a third presidential term for Alpha Conde since October last year.

The 82-year-old president has pushed through a new constitution in March that allowed him to reset the two-term presidential limit to zero, and run again in the October 18 election.

Wednesday’s killing occurred in the Fouta-Djalon region, a bastion of the main opposition candidate contesting the election, Cellou Dalein Diallo.

Protesters on Tuesday had pelted rocks at Prime Minister Ibrahima Kassory Fofana’s convoy in two cities in the region: Labe and Dalaba. Several people were injured, the government said Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the government said the incident was part of a “concerted plan to sabotage the electoral process”. Fofana is Conde’s campaign manager.

Cellou Dalein Diallo’ UFDG party has denied involvement in the attack, according to local press reports, with some party officials casting doubt on the government’s account.

AFP was unable to independently confirm the details of the incident.

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Conde became Guinea’s first democratically elected president in 2010, winning re-election five years later.

Rights groups have accused him of drifting into authoritarianism, however.

This month, the president drew criticism for apparently stoking ethnic tensions ahead of the October election.

In a campaign speech delivered in the Malinke language, the president told voters that backing an opposition Malinke candidate amounted to voting for Cellou Dalein Diallo.

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Guinea’s politics are mostly drawn along ethnic lines. President Conde’s party is largely backed by Malinke people, and Diallo’s UFDG by Fulani people, although both insist that they are pluralist.

Diallo is a former prime minister who was heavily involved in the protest campaign against a Conde a third term.

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