FILE PHOTO: Guinea's President Alpha Conde arrives to attend a visit and a dinner at the Orsay Museum in Paris
FILE PHOTO: Guinea's President Alpha Conde arrives to attend a visit and a dinner at the Orsay Museum in Paris

Guinea president replaces security minister following deadly protests

By Saliou Samb Time of article published Nov 12, 2019

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CONAKRY - Guinea President Alpha Conde

announced on Monday that he was replacing his security minister

following deadly protests against suspected efforts by Conde to

extend his mandate.

Conde, 81, is due to step down next year when his second and

final five-year term expires, but he has refused to rule out

running again and asked his government in September to look into

drafting a new constitution.

Conde's opponents fear a new constitution could be used as a

reset button on his presidency, allowing Conde to run again like

other African leaders who have amended or changed constitutions

in recent years to stay in power.

Protests in Conakry, the capital, and the bauxite-mining

north against such a move have resulted in at least 13 deaths

over the past month.

The presidential statement read on national television on

Monday evening did not provide a reason for the sacking of

Security Minister Alpha Ibrahima Keira, but a senior government

official told Reuters it was related to Keira's "difficulty

managing the socio-political crisis."

Government spokesman Damantang Albert Camara will replace

Keira as security minister. Conde also announced that he was

replacing his health and justice ministers.

The government has said it would investigate the deaths

during the protests, which opposition leaders and residents said

were caused by security forces' opening fire on demonstrators.

Conde's first election victory in 2010 raised hopes for

democratic progress in Guinea after decades of authoritarian

rule. But his critics accuse him of cracking down on dissent and

violently repressing protests - charges he denies.

A dozen opposition and civil society leaders were sentenced

to prison last month for their role in organising the protests. 

REUTERS

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