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Guinea: FNDC threatens demonstrations if junta stays in power

Guinea: FNDC threatens demonstrations if junta stays in power
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CELLOU BINANI/AFP or licensors -

Guinea

A group that arranged months of protests in Guinea between 2019 and 2020 on Tuesday threatened to resume demonstrations if the military stays in power until 2025, as suggested in a widely circulated document.

The National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC) "will oppose with determination any idea of a long transition," it said in a statement referring to a timetable circulating on social networks since the previous day, whose origin is unknown.

This transition project provides for legislative elections in November 2024 and presidential elections in May 2025. The FNDC "invites citizens to remain mobilised for a possible resumption of peaceful citizen demonstrations". The FNDC has been at the forefront of the mobilisation against a third term of office for President Alpha Condé in 2019-2020.

The protest, which was brutally repressed several times, left dozens of people dead without preventing the re-inauguration of Alpha Conde in December 2020. He has since been overthrown on 5 September 2021 by the military under the command of Colonel Mamady Doumbouya.

Colonel Doumbouya pledged to return power to elected civilians after a transitional period. But the colonel, who has made himself transitional president on 1 October 2021, refuses to be dictated to by a deadline. He says it will be set by a National Council (CNT) acting as a legislative body and just installed.

The CNT has still not made a decision, despite pressure from the Organisation of the West African States, which has suspended Guinea from its bodies and is calling for an "acceptable" timetable for the return of civilians to the country's leadership. A joint ECOWAS-UN mission visited Guinea on Sunday and Monday.

Two officials of the transitional government did not respond to AFP's inquiries about the timetable. The authorities did not comment on it in the media. The FNDC said in its statement that it confirms "the authenticity of this document (which will be submitted to the CNT in the coming days).

Guinean officials did not submit such a timetable to the members of the ECOWAS/UN mission but told it that the timetable was being prepared, according to a source close to the discussions.

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