CONAKRY – Gunfire erupted in several neighbourhoods in Guinea’s capital, Conakry, on Tuesday as hundreds of opposition supporters clashed with security forces for a second day of protests over the timing of elections, witnesses said.
The government said about 10 people had been injured, including one with bullet wounds. At least six people were hit by bullets on Monday. The government denied security forces shot at people protesting and called for an investigation.
Government spokesman Damantang Albert Camara said one person died on Tuesday after falling into a ravine during violence. Medical sources and rights group Amnesty International said a man had been killed during Monday’s clashes.
Opposition parties have called the protests to try to pressure the government to hold a local election ahead of a presidential vote, as laid out in a 2013 agreement between Guinea’s rival political factions.
The government does not recognise the clause on the order of voting and has set the presidential election for Oct. 11, with the local election due early next year.
Analysts say that holding the local election ahead of the presidential vote would give President Alpha Conde’s rivals a more influence in the organisation of the vote. The government denies that delaying the local election will have an impact on free and fair elections.
Rich in bauxite and iron ore, Guinea has seen its mining potential hamstrung by years of political instability.
Witnesses and a security source said youths burning tyres and manning barricades clashed with security forces, paralysing main roads running through poorer neighbourhoods.
Medical sources said the man who died on Monday was hit by a projectile but it was not clear what the projectile had been. Amnesty International said the 30-year-old man had died after being shot in the chest.