Conde plays down Guinea violence

2010-11-18 20:15

Conakry - Alpha Conde, winner of Guinea's presidential election according to preliminary results, has played down ethnic tensions and appealed to rivals to abandon protests and help him rebuild the nation.

A local rights group warned on Thursday of the gravity of the ethnic conflict and residents in part of the country said gunfire had rung out again overnight.

Despite calls for calm from both candidates and abroad, the top bauxite exporter has suffered three days of violence since Conde was announced winner of a tight election race against former prime minister Cellou Dalein Diallo.

The violence, which has spread to towns outside the seaside capital, has seen Diallo's mainly Peul supporters clash with the security forces and Conde's predominantly Malinke backers.

"The situation has become very serious because the political conflict has become an ethnic conflict," said Thierno Maadjou Sow, president of the Guinean Human Rights Organisation.


The Peul and the Malinke make up about 40% and 35% of the country, respectively. Witnesses have reported gangs of youths on both sides arming themselves with machetes and vowing to defend their communities.

"I think people are exaggerating the ethnic problems in Guinea, I have always said Guineans want change. The vote has shown this," Conde told broadcaster France 24.

Guinea's government on Wednesday declared a state of emergency to try to halt the clashes, which a pan-African rights group says have killed at least 10 people and left more than 200 injured.

It was Guinea's first free poll since independence from France in 1958 and was meant to seal the return of civilians to power after nearly two years of military rule.

With a curfew in place, most of Conakry was calm overnight, except for continued trouble in Diallo's Peul-dominated strongholds in the Ratoma commune.

"We heard gunfire all night long. The children are terrified," a resident said from the Simbaya neighbourhood. It was not clear what motivated the gunfire. In past days security forces have been firing warning shots into the air but a hospital source has also reported victims of gunshot wounds.

"Those that aren't happy because their candidate has not been elected, I understand them, but I have to make them understand that smashing houses is not what will help develop the country," Conde said.

Read more on:    alpha conde  |  guinea  |  west africa

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


New GIF keyboard on iOS for added fun!

Soon sending an LOL! or facepalm will be so much more fun!


For chic geeks...

Puppy goes crazy over iPad game
Printable solar panels will bring exciting new opportunities!
Now there’s a special lane for texting while walking
LOL! 7 brutally honest texts from parents

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


There is a tendency to fight against the current today but this will just use up a lot of energy and not get you very far. more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.