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27 Feb 2020 | 04:21 AM UTC

Guinea: US Embassy issues nation-wide protest alert February 27 /update 9

US Embassy in Conakry issues nation-wide protest alert February 27; heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions expected

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Event

The US Embassy in Conakry issued a statement on Wednesday, February 26, warning of possible protests across Guinea on Thursday, February 27. While gathering points and routes have not yet been announced, the US Embassy stated the protests are to take place in the capital Conakry and throughout Guinea. Protest activity in Conakry often follows the route from Rue le Prince, from the Cosa intersection, to the Bambeto traffic circle, to the Hamdallaye traffic circle.

Tensions are running high across the country ahead of the simultaneous legislative elections and constitutional referendum scheduled to take place on Sunday, March 1. Additional related protests are likely across the country in the lead up and after the elections.

A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions are to be expected in the vicinity of any demonstrations. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.

Context

Numerous opposition protests have been organized since October 14, some of which have turned violent. Opposition members allege that President Condé, who has been in power since 2010, is positioning himself to change the constitution in order to allow himself to run for a third presidential term in late 2020. Condé announced on February 4, that the March 1 legislative elections will be coupled with a constitutional referendum. The opposition has denounced the referendum as a constitutional coup enabling Condé to remain in power.

Advice

Individuals in Guinea, particularly in Conakry, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.