Guinea: Ethnic riots spread in capital

2012-09-21 20:03
Peul youths throw stones toward members of the Malinke ethnic group, during clashes between Malinke and Peul shopkeepers in Conakry. (AP)

Peul youths throw stones toward members of the Malinke ethnic group, during clashes between Malinke and Peul shopkeepers in Conakry. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Conakry - Anti-riot police on Friday dispersed protesters in the Medina market of Guinea's capital, after a riot broke out between sellers from the Peul and Malinke ethnic groups, the two largest ethnicities in the country, according to witnesses.

By afternoon, the riots had spread to other parts of the city and in Peul-dominated areas of the capital, residents were stopping taxis and yanking out Malinke passengers. There are similar reports in Malinke areas, where Peul passengers were suddenly not being allowed in.

In this country of around 11 million people, the Peule make up about 40% of the population and the Malinka 30%, according to US State Department figures.

Tensions between the two groups have been running high ever since the 2010 presidential election, which was won by Malinke politician Alpha Conde. He defeated a Peul candidate, and the vote was overwhelmingly carried out along ethnic lines.

Since coming to power, Conde is accused of favouring his ethnic group in appointments to government ministries, all the way down to the guards and janitors.

Tear gas


On Friday, an AP reporter saw police fire tear gas to try to break up the protesters at the Medina market. The two ethnic groups carry out different activities in the market, with the Malinke concentrated in the area selling spare automobile parts, while the Peul sell clothes and food.

Moussa Yero Diallo, a Peul, said he saw cars being stopped all along Prince Boulevard, the main thoroughfare that bisects the predominantly-Peul suburbs of Bambeto, Cosa and Enco-5 in Conakry.

"On the axis Bambeto to Cosa and all the way to Enco-5, youths are demonstrating and are blocking taxis and saying that only the Peul passengers can travel on Prince road. If you are not Peul, you are forced to get out of the car. They say they are doing this because they have been told that Malinke youths are blocking vehicles on the freeway, where they are forcing Peul passengers to get out and are stealing their things," said Diallo, who lives near the intersection of Prince Boulevard and Bambeto.

Oumar Diallo, who is also Peul, said that he was forced to get out of the communal taxi he was riding in.

Hunting down


"This morning near the Medina market, I was in a taxi when they recognised that I am a Peul. A bunch of youths speaking the Malinke language told me to get down. They hit me, they stole my money and my phone. I thought I was going to get lynched by these Malinke youths, who are hunting down Peul," said Diallo.

Guinea won its independence from France in 1958, and was under the hold of successive strongmen until the 2010 election, considered the first democratic vote in the country's history.

The vote was widely praised by the international community, despite the ethnic fault line that became evident during riots leading up the vote, and in protests following the announcement of Conde's victory.

The country has one of the world's largest supplies of bauxite, the raw material used to make aluminium, as well as reserves of gold and virgin stands of timber. It's often cited as an example of Africa's "resource curse”, because its rich mineral wealth contrasts with the endemic poverty of its people.

- AP

Read more on:    guinea  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

CAR ceasefire 'broken'

32 minutes ago

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Goodwood - 09:10 AM
    Road name: N7 Vanguard Drive Southbound
    DELAYS towards Voortrekker Road
  • Tuesday Paarden Eiland - 09:09 AM
    Road name: Marine Drive Southbound
    DELAYS approaching the N1 Highway Interchange
 
More traffic reports...
 

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!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer 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

BlackBerry Bold 9780

BlackBerry 6 Engage your world with BlackBerry 6 OS on the...

From R3049.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may come up to alert you of your security needs. It may be that you need to create a better structure for your finances...read more

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.