Socialist Worker

Foul corruption sparks angry demonstrations in Guinea

by Charlie Kimber
Issue No. 2678

President of Guinea Alpha Conde

President of Guinea Alpha Conde (Pic: Kremlin)

Huge crowds of demonstrators flooded the streets of Guinea’s capital, Conakry, last week.

The protests focus on a potential constitutional change that could let president Alpha Conde seek a third term of office in the west African country.

Organisers said a million people took part in a march last Thursday. Police put the number at 30,000, while local media said there were hundreds of thousands of people.

Demonstrators’ anger is also about corruption and discontent with a leader whose victory in 2010 had raised hopes for change after years of military rule.

As one protester said, “Our country has the largest bauxite mines in the world. We have gold, diamonds and yet the people don’t get anything.”

“The government takes all the resources of the mining and the population gets poorer and poorer. They don’t have even food, school, or access to health.”

Bauxite is the ore that is made into aluminium.

Guinea has a powerful working class. A five-day general strike in 2016 won major concessions.

The current wave of demonstrations began on 14 October.

At least nine people were killed when police opened fire on protesters as they ransacked military posts and blocked roads in Conakry with burning tyres.

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