Ethnic clashes cast further doubt on delayed Guinea poll
29 October 2010
Thousands of Guineans from the Peul ethnic group have been forced to flee their homes in ethnic clashes ahead of the country's upcoming presidential election, officials said, overshadowing a looming poll in a country that has never succeeded in freely electing its leader (…)
(…) Over the weekend, at least 1,800 people from the Peul ethnic group poured into the towns south of Kankan including Dinguiraye and Dabola, located approximately 300 miles (500 kilometers) north of the capital, said Alexandre Gashangi, who heads the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Conakry.
Dinguiraye mayor Kouro Sow said by telephone that families came on the backs of motorcycles, in buses and on foot. Some bore machete wounds. Many had feet so torn up from walking that they needed medical attention, she said (…)
(…) Guinea has never had an election deemed free and fair since winning independence in 1958. The former French colony appeared to have turned a corner earlier this year when the military junta ruling the country agreed to hand over power to civilians in elections this summer.
The vote has instead devolved into a contest between the country's top two ethnic groups, with the Peul unanimously backing Diallo while the Malinke support Conde (…)
(…) The upcoming vote has been canceled and rescheduled multiple times, and is now scheduled for Nov. 7. Also on Thursday, a trip to the affected towns by the country's dueling presidential candidates which was intended to show a united front in condemning the violence was abruptly canceled Thursday after Malinke politician Alpha Conde pulled out (…)
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