News24

Guinea lifts state of emergency

2010-12-11 14:36

Conakry - Guinea has lifted a state of emergency in a sign of rising stability in the West African state since elections marred by street violence.

"The state of emergency has been lifted in all parts of the national territory," General Nouhou Thiam, head of the armed forces, said on state television late on Friday.

He said protests remained banned until the inauguration of President-elect Alpha Conde, who won a November 7 run-off against rival ex-Premier Cellou Dalein Diallo.

No date for the inauguration has yet been set.

Guinea imposed the state of emergency on November 17 after Diallo supporters took to the streets in protest over the vote results and clashed with security forces.

The state of emergency gave police extra powers to keep law and order, but human rights groups accused them of using excessive force in the clashes, in which at least 10 people were killed and more than 200 wounded.

The election was Guinea's first free poll since independence from France in 1958 and was meant to draw a line under almost two years of military rule in the world's biggest exporter of the aluminium ore bauxite.

Conde has said he plans to set up a truth and reconciliation commission to address the election violence as well as decades of human rights abuses. He has also offered to include Diallo allies in a government of national unity, a move aimed at soothing tensions.

Stability could provide legal certainty for major investments by mining firms like Rio Tinto and Vale in Guinea's bauxite and iron ore riches.

Guinea reopened the borders and eased a curfew last week, reversing post-election security measures.