Konate’s Presidential Guard, the Same Guys Who Committed Atrocities on 9/28/09, Use Collective Punishment in Attack at Diallo Campaign HQ Last Night
(AFP) – 3 hours ago
CONAKRY — Members of the presidential guard staged a violent overnight raid on the party headquarters of the leading candidate in the Guinea’s presidential election, witnesses said Thursday.
According to several witnesses, members of the guard of transitional president General Sekouba Konate stopped in front of the Union of Democratic Forces in Guinea (UDFG) around 11 pm on Wednesday.
“Someone must a have thrown a rock at the convoy. The soldiers got down from their pickup trucks and started to indiscriminately beat anyone they saw in the area,” said one local resident.
“We don’t know what happened outside (on the street), but we saw the soldiers arrive in a hurry and begin to beat the people passing the night at the headquarters,” said one UDFG member.
A woman who runs a nearby donut stand said she “saw soldiers get out of their vehicles and run in every direction.
“They hit people and me, I was slapped once by a soldier,” she added.
A UFDG official, who did not want his name used, confirmed the incident and said several party members had been arrested.
He called it a case of “pure intimidation”, but said they would would not let it distract them ahead of the October 24 runoff presidential vote.
The UFDG’s candidate, former prime minister Cellou Dalein Diallo, is the favourite in the race which pits him against veteran opposition politician Alpha Conde.
Diallo won 43 percent of votes in the June first round and Conde 18 percent, but Conde contested the results, accusing the electoral commission of “gigantic fraud” in Guinea’s first democratic poll since independence from France in 1958.
No officials would confirm the incident, but a member of the presidential guard told AFP they had been provoked.
“You don’t provoke us, we are neutral soldiers,” said the soldier. “We were attacked by unknown people during the night. Everybody should calm down.”
A UFDG official said those arrested had been taken to the Koundara military base in Conakry.