Guinea: Toll from protest rises to 12
28 May 2013, 14:18
Conakry - At least 12 people have been killed in Guinea
during five days of protests over preparations for a legislative election, the
government of the West African state said on Monday.
Guinea's opposition called its members onto the streets in
March to protest at the government's plan to go ahead with the vote on June 30,
over fears the vote will be rigged.
More than 50 people have been killed in total and about 350
wounded since the protests began.
Opposition leaders temporarily suspended demonstrations this
month to allow the UN-brokered talks with the government to take place but
later called for the renewed protests, accusing President Alpha Conde of
sabotaging the negotiations.
The protests have, however, degenerated into looting and
ethnic clashes between Guinea's two main tribes; the Malinke supporters of
Conde and the mostly Peul opposition backers.
"Since May 21, almost daily violence has been recorded
in some Conakry suburbs, specifically in Bambeto Coza-axis [an opposition
stronghold]," government spokesperson Damantang Albert Camara said.
Camara, citing hospital and security officials, said 12
people had been confirmed dead since then, including seven shot dead when
Guinean security forces clashed with opposition protesters in the seaside
capital of the world's top bauxite producing nation. He did not say how the
other five died.
Guinea's opposition says it was not consulted before the
government announced the date for the election and says voter lists are being
revised in favour of Conde's allies.
They are calling for the company contracted by the
government to revise voter lists, South African firm Waymark, to be replaced
and are demanding that Guineans abroad be allowed to vote.