Guinea bans street demos after pre-poll clashes

The violence ended only after police and paramilitary gendarmes broke it up.

Conakry: Guinea`s interim government has banned street demonstrations after a second day of clashes between supporters of the rival candidates in the upcoming presidential runoff, a government source said.

The move came after interim prime minister, Jean-Marie Dore, called an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss the crisis late yesterday, reacting to a second day of clashes between the rival political factions.

Stone-throwing supporters of former prime minister Cellou Dalein Diallo and veteran opposition figure Alpha Conde clashed in the suburb of Hamdallaye where both candidates` political parties are headquartered.

The gangs also targeted vehicles in the area.

The violence ended only after police and paramilitary gendarmes broke it up.

Supporters of Diallo`s Union of Democratic Forces in Guinea (UDFG) and Conde`s Rally for the People of Guinea (RPG) party had also clashed on Saturday in three separate districts of the city before police and gendarmes intervened.

While the interim government banned street demonstrations to prevent further clashes, it decided to allow the political campaigns to continue on radio and television, the government source said.

Diallo and Alpha Conde are due to face off in the presidential runoff on September 19. Diallo won 43.69 percent in the June first round vote and Alpha Conde took 18.25 percent.

The June vote was Guinea`s first democratic poll since independence from France in 1958. The impoverished west African state has known decades of autocratic or military rule, and is currently led by a military junta headed by General Sekouba Konate.

PTI

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