Clashes over possible presidential third term in Guinea

In the town of Kankan in east Guinea, protesters shouted slogans such as “Don’t touch my constitution”
ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA – FEBRUARY 9: Guinean President Alpha Conde arrives at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport to attend the 32nd African Union Leaders’ Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on February 9, 2019. Minasse Wondimu Hailu / Anadolu Agency

Supporters and opponents of a third presidential term for Guinea’s Alpha Conde clashed Tuesday, with several hurt and others arrested, witnesses said.

Conde, 81, became the first freely-elected president in Guinea’s history in 2010 and was re-elected five years later.

Although Guinea has a two-term ceiling, he has repeatedly questioned the relevance of presidential term limits and has been criticised for the use of deadly force to crush protests.

In the town of Kankan in east Guinea, protesters shouted slogans such as “Don’t touch my constitution”, witnesses told AFP by telephone.

Supporters of the president attempted to block the protesters’ route, and clashes broke out, leaving several injured on both sides, opposition member Mory Kourouma told AFP.

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Conde supporters also threw stones and opponents gathered in a hall, said Kourouma.

“At least six opponents were injured and at least 12… arrested and taken to unknown destinations.”

A medical source confirmed six people were treated for injuries at a hospital in Kankan.

In the town of Sangaredi, in western Guinea, young women “armed with stones and clubs” marched to express their opposition to a third term from 2020, a security source said.

Police used tear gas to try and disperse the group, but without success.

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