Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Guinea ex-president Conde to face trial over third-term violence

Guinea’s attorney general has ordered legal proceedings against Mr Conde and 26 of his former officials, according to a court document.

• May 5, 2022
Alpha Conde
Alpha Conde

Ousted President Alpha Conde and 26 of his former officials are to face prosecution over violence surrounding the ex-president’s disputed bid for a third term

Guinea’s attorney general ordered the legal proceedings, according to a court document.

Mr Conde, 84, was overthrown in a military coup in September by officers who now run the West African country.

Anger against him had mounted after he altered the constitution to run for re-election in 2020, which he won.

The charges against Mr Conde and his allies include complicity in murder and assault, sexual violence, and forced disappearances arising from civil unrest that broke out around the disputed election, according to the document signed by the attorney general.

Mr Conde’s decision to run for a third term sparked repeated protests resulting in dozens of deaths as police cracked down with force on demonstrators, both before and after the election.

Rights group Amnesty International said at least 50 people were killed and more than 200 injured in the months leading up to the vote.

At least 17 people were killed in the days after.

State security forces “benefited from total impunity in complicity with those in power in Conakry at the time”, said the court document.

In it, the attorney general asked the district attorney to immediately initiate legal proceedings against Mr Conde and a number of others including the former prime minister and former minister of defence.

It also ordered legal proceedings against anyone who participated in the destruction of buildings during the protests, and anyone who organised marches that led to violence.

The court order appeared to reverse a recent announcement by Guinea’s military junta saying that Mr Conde would be released from house arrest.

He has been kept under supervision since he was ousted, although he was allowed to travel to the United Arab Emirates for a medical check-up.

Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, head of the junta, said on Saturday it would probably take more than three years to organise elections and a transition back to civilian rule.


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