CANAKRA, Guinea (AP) – One man was killed in the Guinean capital during protests against rising fuel prices, the first demonstration since the junta seized control of the West African country, according to opposition leaders and witnesses.
The young man was shot dead on Wednesday night in Hamdalai, a suburb of the capital Conakry, which is considered a stronghold of opposition parties and critics of the junta.
“We have been demonstrating all day against the announcement of the Ministry of Economy and Finance to increase the price of a liter of fuel,” said Amado Dium Diyala, a participant in the action. “During the day, riot police used tear gas to disperse us. There was peace. Then at night the demonstrations resumed. Police came to fire warning shots, ”one young man was killed.
“We called the Red Cross to come and pick up the body, but they could not come,” said Idrissa Kante, another demonstrator.
The National Front for the Defense of the Constitution, a coalition of civil society groups opposing the junta, has accused defense and security forces of using live ammunition.
“The bloody crackdown on demonstrations by defense and security forces contrasts with Colonel Dumbui’s speech on the seizure of power, in which he condemned the killings of demonstrators (by the previous government) and promised not to do the same,” the groups said.
The Ministry of Security and Civil Defense, retired General Bachir Diyala, said the government expressed condolences to the victims and relatives of the victims.
“I strongly condemn the actions that led to the deaths,” he said, adding that he had spoken to the director general of police to get answers.
Diallo told the media on Thursday that the shooting of the protesters “is not related to the logic of change” that the current president wants.
“The guilty will be punished at all levels,” he promised.
Former Guinean President Alfa Conde was ousted in a September coup by a military junta that now heads the West African country. The head of the military junta, Colonel Mamadi Dumbuya, says a return to civilian democratic governance could take more than three years.