Guinea Update 5-16: Opposition’s Protest Calendar, May 10 March Tally of Arrests and Injuries, CENI’s Election Roll Game
Opposition’s Protest Calendar
The Opposition held a press conference on Tuesday and provided details about upcoming protest events:
Thursday, May 17: General Strike
Thursday, May 24: March
The opposition will take a different route this time by marching on the highway leading from Matoto to the esplanade of the September 28 Stadium. This is to demonstrate that opposition activists are from many neighborhoods, not just within the axis of Enco5-Cosa-Bambeto-Hamdallaye.
May 10 March – Security Services Were Brutal
The opposition held a press conference on Tuesday to talk about future events and the brutality of the security services. Here’s an excerpt from an article in Guinnenews:
According to Aboubacar Sylla, spokesperson for the Opposition: “. . . when we came to some 100 meters from the headquarters of the RPG (ruling party) we heard sounds of exploding tear gas. The procession stopped for a moment,” he said. He added that once the procession arrived at the station Hamdallaye, “we heard an amplification of gunfire, tear gas and behind us, we could see that the gendarmes were coming, police officers spilled out of the headquarters of the RPG. This is also when RPG activists fanned out through neighborhood streets to challenge demonstrators. So, our convoy was cut in two. All those who were behind us, came under fire, tear gas and batons. “
For Aboubacar Sylla, the police aimed to disperse the crowd. “It’s as if these officers had passed the order to do so,” said the former minister of communications.
Speaking of the balance sheet of the event, the UFC president said they saw fifty serious injuries including a victim who is between life and death. Many are currently bedridden in various hospitals in the capital.
In the same vein, the president of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea, Diallo has indicated that about fifty activists were arrested and brought to the central prison including several women including a pregnant woman. He also noted that most of those arrested were arrested at their homes.
“We heard that the three women took refuge in the home of UFDG president. One woman was sixty-five years old and she had already been beaten and lost three teeth.”
CENI’s Temporary Suspension of the Revision of the Electoral Rolls, as Requested by Alpha Conde, Is VERY Temporary
On May 13, Alpha Conde signed a declaration calling for the CENI to temporarily suspend its operations on the revision of the electoral rolls. This is a very serious issue for the opposition because because there is concern that the CENI is using this effort to conduct a “census” rather than a revision.
Yesterday, the CENI announced it would resume its electoral rolls’ revision on Monday, May 21. In the meantime, the CENI invites all “political actors” to come to the People’s Palace tomorrow and Friday to see demonstration of the system conducted by the operator Waymark.
The point is that, regardless of the system, it can be manipulated. The transparency of elections is only as good as the honor of the person running them. Unfortunately, for the people of Guinea, Louceny Camara has none.
Let’s hope those in the international community do not insult the intelligence of the people of Guinea by labeling this CENI move as a tangible example of its transparency.