Guinea Government Says 36 Injured in Conakry Political Unrest

Guinea’s government said at least 36 people were injured in the capital, Conakry, yesterday in clashes triggered by disagreement over a legislative vote.

Youth put up barricades and damaged cars in several areas of the capital before security forces were deployed to restore calm, government spokesman Albert Damantang Camara said in an e-mailed statement. Gangs with knives and Molotov cocktails attacked homes in several suburbs, Camara said, without giving further details.

Guinea is the world’s biggest exporter of aluminum raw material bauxite, and also has a gold mine owned by AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. Vale SA has an iron ore project in the country.

According to reports published on the website guineeactu.info, the skirmishes are ethnically and politically motivated, with sympathizers of President Alpha Conde, a Malinke, fighting with supporters of an opposition coalition dominated by other ethnic groups.

Conde defeated former prime minister Cellou Dalein Diallo, a member of the Fula ethnic community, in 2010 elections seen by foreign observers as the first democratic presidential vote since the West African nation became independent from France in 1958.

Three main opposition parties say Conde hasn’t met their demands for transparent parliamentary elections. The vote, which has been delayed twice, is scheduled for May.

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