Guinea coup anniversary clashes leave 4 dead

An opposition group reported that four individuals in Guinea lost their lives in confrontations between protestors and security forces during the commemoration of the second anniversary of a military coup.

A collective named Living Forces, in a statement released on Facebook, stated that four young men, aged 15 to 18, lost their lives on Monday and Tuesday. Initially, they had reported a death toll of two.

These fatalities have raised the total number of casualties caused by the security forces since June 2022 to 30, according to the group’s statement.

Since September 5, 2021, the impoverished and persistently unstable West African nation has been under military rule. This followed the removal of the elected octogenarian president, Alpha Conde, by soldiers.

In June of the subsequent year, the junta adopted a more rigid stance as opposition voices continued to demand rights and democracy.

Since then, Living Forces reports that 108 individuals have also sustained injuries, and hundreds more have been arrested and subjected to arbitrary detention.

In anticipation of the anniversary, the authorities reaffirmed a decree issued in May 2022 that prohibited “support movements and public demonstrations on the streets” in an effort to maintain peace.

No official celebrations took place to observe the anniversary, but junta leaders did make appearances on local media to defend their actions. They highlighted investments in hospitals and the establishment of a specialized court focused on combating financial crimes as part of their record.

Under international pressure, the junta has pledged to reinstate civilian governance by the conclusion of 2024. They claim this timeline is necessary to implement comprehensive institutional reforms.

Living Forces contends that no advancement has been made on crucial measures such as a draft constitution, electoral code, or an election management body, which are essential steps for the return to civilian governance.

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