Dozens of young men clashed with security forces in Guinea’s capital, Conakry, on Wednesday after an opposition alliance called for protests against the ruling military junta.
Demonstrators in a flashpoint suburb reportedly hurled stones at police and gendarmes who replied with teargas.
Police were said to have been heavily deployed around the city and in many districts markets and shops were closed in the morning as traders feared violence.
Demonstrations had been called by the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC) – a coalition of political parties, trade unions and civil society organisations – which the junta ordered to be shut down earlier this month.
🇬🇳 CIVICUS speaks with @ao_sowGn from FNDC about the lack of progress in the transition to #democracy in Guinea since its 2021 military coup. Read it here👉🏾 https://t.co/QHrwNDOnd1 #CIVICUSLens #CIVICUSInterview pic.twitter.com/O78rT0Rz10— CIVICUS (@CIVICUSalliance) August 17, 2022
Long road to civilian rule
Guinea has been ruled by the military since a coup last September that ousted President Alpha Condé, who held power since 2010.
In May, the junta banned all protests and on 6 August decreed the dissolution of the FNDC.
The alliance staged rallies on 28 and 29 July 28 in which five people were killed and called for peaceful demonstrations for 17 August.
The FNDC spearheaded protests against Condé while he was in power, especially targeting his bid for a third term in office that it said was unconstitutional.
The demonstrations were often brutally repressed.
After the 2021 coup, the group turned its focus on the junta, progressively amplifying its concern over human rights and the pace of return to civilian rule.
Coup leader Colonel Mamady Doumbouya has pledged to hand over power to elected civilians within three years – a timeline that the Economic Community of West African States want to be shorter.