Clashes rock Guinea just before presidential poll

Guinean authorities apply curfew on city of N'Zerekore following clashes that caused at least one dead and 80 wounded due to presidental elections

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Clashes between supporters of Guinea's governing party and opposition activists left at least one dead and more than 80 wounded in Guinea.

Clashes erupted between supporters of Guinea’s governing party and opposition due to next week’s presidential elections, left more than 80 people wounded and at least one dead, charity and witnesses said.

Authorities announced a curfew after clashes in the city of N’Zerekore, late into Saturday night. It marks the second major outbreak of violence in the run-up to the October 11 polls.

"Our teams, working with the Guinean Red Cross, helped the medical team at the regional hospital of N'Zerekore to care for around 80 people injured by gunshots or rocks," said Olivier van Eyll, the head of medical charity Alima's Guinea mission.

"Unfortunately there was a death among the wounded," he said.

The clashes began on Friday afternoon in N’Zerekore city during a visit by President Alpha Conde.

Many of the area’s local traders, who mostly belongs to the Fulani ethnic group, traditionally loyal to opposition Cellou Dalein Diallo, became angry due to traffic jam and asking them to close their shops for presidents’ arrival.

"That's what lit the fire,"  a local police official said.

Local citizens verified the official, Stones were thrown and there are numerous injuries on both sides," one witness said.

Government officials and local authorities have not made any comment yet.

Eight nominees, including Conde and Diallo have been confirmed to become the candidates for the country's second democratic presidential election.

Guinea’s opposition proposed for the vote to be adjourned until later in October to let the electoral commission to verify ''anomalies and irregularities in the electoral roll."


TRTWorld and agencies