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A Guinean political coalition has called for renewed demonstrations against the ruling junta, ending a truce for lack of response to its demands for “credible dialogue” on the transition to civilian rule.
The National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC), a coalition of parties, unions and civil society organizations, initiated the July 28 and 29 demonstrations, which were banned by the authorities. Five people were killed, to denounce the junta’s “unilateral management of the transition.
the protest movements was suspended for a week, including the one planned throughout the country on August 4, “at the express request” of Guinea-Bissau head of state Umaro Sissoco Embalo, current president of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, who overthrew Guinean President Alpha Conde, who has been in power since 2010, on September 5, pledged to hand over power to elected civilians within three years.
However, almost all of the country’s political actors and the West African states, which are mediators in this matter, want him to shorten this period.
On August 1, ECOWAS called on “the Guinean authorities, the political class and civil society to engage in an inclusive dialogue in order to defuse the tension and agree on a timetable and reasonable modalities for the peaceful restoration of constitutional order.
However, the junta refuses “to respond to the many calls for dialogue on the transition,” the FNDC denounced Monday in a statement also criticizing “the chronic attitude of defiance” of the Guinean government towards ECOWAS, its “unilateral and authoritarian management of the transition” and “the illegal use of lethal weapons in the management of demonstrations.
In addition to the opening of a “credible dialogue” with political actors and civil society and the setting of a reasonable and consensual deadline for the duration of the transition, the FNDC is demanding that the junta unconditionally release all of its activists arrested during the latest demonstrations.
Two leaders of the collective, Oumar Sylla alias Foniké Mangué and Ibrahima Diallo, as well as Saïkou Yaya Barry, executive secretary of the Union of Republican Forces (UFR), were still being held on Monday in the civil prison of Conakry after being charged with “participation in a prohibited gathering, looting, destruction of public and private property, assault and battery.
Foniké Mangué, coordinator of the FNDC, was heard during the day. “He does not recognize the facts” of which he is accused and “considers that he is within his rights to fight for the establishment of democracy,” his lawyer, Me Thierno Souleymane Barry, told the press.