In Guinea’s post-electoral violence, 50 arrested

PARIS, France––Police in the West African country of Guinea say they have arrested about 50 people following a firebombing attack that killed five children in the country’s region immediately after last weekend’s local elections.

Mamadou Lamarana Diallo, a local executive, said on Guinean radio station: “After the violence in Kalinko, security forces made arrests of at least 50 people who were all transferred to Faranah prison.”

Diallo added that some of those arrested carried weapons and that the wave of violence in the town had spread to nearby villages and beyond.

Political and social unrest has widened in the West African country after the last few week’s ballot, about seven deaths have been recorded so far across the country amid violent clashes between opposition supporters and riot police.

The special representative for the United Nations Secretary-General in the area, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, said he regretted “deeply” the loss of life and appealed for calm.

On Thursday, Dr. Chambas who was in Guinea for a two-day visit called on the various factions to “avoid any act of violence” to allow the electoral commission to continue its work, according to a statement from the Guinean government.

Guinea’s justice minister Cheick Sako said there must be “absolutely a climate of peace, tolerance, and serenity in this post-election period for the happiness of the people.”

Adding, there must be “respect for the law.”

Political observers Sunday’s vote in Guinea was the first of its kind since the end of the era of military dictatorship.

The Local elections vote followed eight years of delays which has been blamed on a lack of funds, political infighting, and the 2013-16 Ebola crisis.

Meanwhile, several opposition leaders have condemned the long-delayed local elections, saying vote rigging with proxy ballots occurred at several polling stations in favor of the ruling party of President Alpha Conde.

Election officials say results are expected by Friday.

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Michael Harrington

Michael Harrington is a researcher and senior contributing reporter with Globe Afrique Media.
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