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23 Nov 2020 | 04:11 AM UTC

Guinea: Government restates ban on demonstrations ahead of planned opposition protests November 22

Guinean government restates ban on demonstrations due to COVID-19 on November 22 ahead of planned opposition protests; avoid political gatherings

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Event

The Guinean government issued a press release on Sunday, November 22, restating the nationwide ban on public demonstrations as part of the country's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) mitigation measures. The statement comes three days ahead of planned protests by opposition groups in various towns and cities across the country on Wednesday, November 25, against the results of the October 18 presidential election. The main march by supporters of opposition candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo was scheduled to be held in Conakry from Gbessia International Airport (CKY) to Palais du Peuple, but it is unclear whether the march will go ahead in defiance of government restrictions.

A heightened security presence and localized transport disruptions are likely around planned demonstration sites in the medium term, with any unauthorized gatherings likely to be dispersed by security forces.

Context

Condé, who has been Guinea's president since 2010, pushed through a change in the constitution following a referendum in March that effectively reset the two-term limit in the constitution and allowed him to run as his party's candidate in the presidential election on October 18. The controversial move by Condé prompted months of protests across Guinea, with opposition groups claiming that at least 90 people had been killed in unrest during the election campaign.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (Céni) declared Condé the winner of the presidential election on October 24, with a 59.94 percent majority in the first round. However, the official results have been challenged by opposition groups, including Condé's main challenger Cellou Dalein Diallo who had earlier claimed to be ahead during early vote counting, prompting clashes between his supporters and security forces in Conakry.

Advice

Those in Guinea are advised to monitor the situation, remain vigilant due to the threat of unrest and political violence, avoid the vicinity of demonstrations, protests, and political gatherings, avoid discussing politically sensitive topics in public or on social media, and heed all directives issued by local authorities.

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