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[Africa News\Guinea Protests]
Congressmember Karen Bass: "The citizens of the country have spoken by taking to the streets to protest President Conde’s run for a third term and I encourage the government of Guinea to adhere to the will of the people."
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Today, Congressmember Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, issued the following statement in response to the violence in Guinea resulting from President Alpha Conde’s announced decision to seek a third term.

The country’s constitution currently calls for two five-year mandates.

“President Alpha Conde’s unconstitutional decision to seek a third term is alarming and has resulted in mass protests in the Guinean capital of Conakry, which have been met with numerous arrests and several casualties. The citizens of the country have spoken by taking to the streets to protest President Conde’s run for a third term and I encourage the government of Guinea to adhere to the will of the people and honor the county’s constitutional term limits.”

Congresswoman Bass previously spoke out against the violence and deaths during demonstrations in Guinea. “Answering protest with violence is unacceptable,” said Rep. Bass. “I want to honor those killed in political protests in Guinea and wholeheartedly condemn the killing of protesters and the imprisoning of opposition and civil society leaders. Political expression and assembly are critical for a functioning democracy. I urge the Guinean government, among others, to respect turnover in leadership as a key element of democracy.”

In November, reports had indicated that 13 people had been killed in Guinea-Conakry clashes with security forces in October alone. Eleven of these were killed in protests over a possible Constitutional change that would allow President Condé to run for a third term. Following this, two others were killed on October 21, 2019, during the funeral procession held to honor those slain earlier that month. During this funeral procession, police used tear gas, batons, and water cannons in response to violence.

Ten opposition and civil society leaders were also arrested in October, sparking criticism and solidarity for the protesters around the world. President Condé had remained vague then on his intentions to run for a third term in the elections currently scheduled for October of next year.

Nadia Nahman, chief of staff for opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo, said: “Alpha Condé is ready to walk on the bodies of Guineans to take a third term. Killing one’s compatriots to satisfy one’s disproportionate obsession with power is inhuman and despicable.”

President Conde, 81, has been in power since 2010 when Guinea had its first democratic elections. Conde won his second of two five year terms in October 2015.

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