Violence Could Cut Short Guinea’s Democratic Celebration

Violence Could Cut Short Guinea’s Democratic Celebration

After more than 26 years of autocratic rule, a tumultuous and at times brutally violent post-coup era, and a fraught electoral period, the people of Guinea were entitled to some time to celebrate the fact that a civilian had finally been elected president.

But in an indication of the deep-seated animosity, fears and mistrust that have led the bauxite-rich West African nation to the brink of disaster time and time again, the Nov. 15 announcement that veteran opposition leader Alpha Condé had won the second-round run-off election was accompanied by ethnic riots, mass arrests and killings at the hand of security forces, as well as a state of emergency.*

Both Condé and his defeated rival, Cellou Dalien Diallo, urged calm after the tight race's official result provoked street protests that left at least 10 dead, according to one West African human-rights group.

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