For several months, Guinean President Alpha Condé has expressed to Guineans his desire to change the Constitution of the country. A constitutional change could allow him run for a third term whereas such a project is impossible under the current Constitution.
On 12 October 2019, six (6) leaders of the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC) were arrested ahead of protests planned on 14 October 2019 against any Constitution change and against a possible third term of President Conde.
At least ten people were shot dead, hundreds arrested and dozens wounded as a result of a bloody crackdown by security forces against protesters on 14-15 and 16 October. The killings, arrests, threats and attacks against activists and organizations opposing this Constitutional change are on the increase.
We have also discovered with great concern that the Guinean government has put in place retaliatory measures against FNDC member organizations. In addition to the arrest of the leaders, there is a plan to dissolve Civil Society Organisations that have expressed opposition to a constitutional change in favour of 81-year-old President Alpha Conde.
Article 27 of the Guinean Constitution states that: "The duration of a term of office shall be five years, renewable once. In no situation can anyone have more than two presidential terms, consecutive or not". The same constitution in Article 10 enshrines freedom of association.
Africtivistes is against the violation of these provisions of the Constitution which guarantee on one hand democratic alternation and on the other hand the effective participation of citizens in the affairs of their nation within Civil Society Organisations.
Guinea’s Civil Society has always played a decisive role at critical times in the history of the country. CIVIL SOCIETY and labour union movements have often played a decisive role in opposing the excesses of different REGIMES.
Africtivistes supports the FNDC and all Guinean citizens who cherish democracy and stands with them to denounce the fiddling of the Constitution initiated by President Alpha Conde for the sole purpose of remaining in power. Africtivistes strongly condemns all attempts at intimidation and reprisals against Guinean citizens whose only wrong has been to defend the Constitution and alternation in their country.
Africtivistes condemns the loss of human lives and calls for the opening of an independent investigation for justice to be done. We call for the immediate release of FNDC leaders and protesters detained in several cities across the country. We condemn attempts at muzzling social movements and vehemently denounce disruptions on the Internet.
In addition, we call on Guinean authorities and security forces to exercise restraint and to respect the fundamental rights of citizens to express themselves, to protest, and to associate freely.
Africtivistes calls on the international community, in particular the ECOWAS and the African Union, to intervene in this crisis, which, if it persists, will have disastrous consequences on the right of peoples to express themselves, peace, security and democratic alternation in the sub-region and on the continent.
Africtivistes calls on President Alpha Conde to immediately abandon his anti-democratic project and encourages the Guinean government to listen to its people who only wish to preserve the principles of term limits and alternation in power, which are fundamental democratic values.