Conakry – An opposition coalition in Guinea dissolved by the ruling junta said on Wednesday it would go ahead with a protest planned for August 17 and denounced the decision as “illegal, baseless and arbitrary”.
The dissolution of the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC), a coalition of political parties, trade unions and civil society organisations, was announced in a decree dated Saturday.
The FNDC was behind banned demonstrations on July 28 and 29 in which five people were killed to denounce the junta’s “unilateral management of the transition” to civilian rule.
“The so-called illegal, baseless and arbitrary decision to dissolve the FNDC shows the will (of the junta) to make intimidation, harassment and thus tyranny the supreme levers of the transition,” the FNDC said in a statement.
The FNDC called on all citizens to mobilise by supporting demonstrations on August 14 in Belgium and across Guinea on August 17.
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“Let us demand peacefully and in a civic manner the rapid return to constitutional order. Let us mobilise, massively, to prevent the perpetuation of a military regime in Guinea.”
The dissolution of the FNDC “is a serious attack on the freedoms of association and peaceful assembly recognised by the Guinean constitution”, Amnesty International said in a statement.
The authorities must “restore the FNDC and guarantee freedom of expression and association, which are rights enshrined in international human rights conventions and treaties that Guinea has ratified,” the statement said.
The FNDC spearheaded protests against former president Alpha Conde, who held power from 2010 to 2021.
In early July, the arrest and detention of three leaders of the group sparked violent clashes between groups of youths and the security forces.
Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, who overthrew Conde in September last year, has pledged to hand over power to elected civilians within three years, a timeline that political players in Guinea and West African states want to be shorter.
The junta on May 13 banned all demonstrations “until the electoral campaign period” during the three-year transition period.