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Guinea Junta Bans Political Protests

WFILE - Guinea junta leader Col. Mamady Doumbouya, leaves a meeting with an ECOWAS delegation in Conakry, Guinea, Sept. 10, 2021. Coup leaders on Saturday announced a ban on political protests in the country.

CONAKRY, GUINEA — The military junta ruling Guinea has banned political protests after announcing a three-year transition period before civilian rule is restored.

"All demonstrations on public roads, whose nature is to jeopardize social tranquility and the correct implementation of activities in the (transition) timetable are banned for the moment until the period of electoral campaigns," the National Rallying Committee for Development (CNRD) said in a statement late Friday.

"The CNRD invites all political and social actors to contain all forms of political protest and gatherings to their headquarters," added the committee set up by the junta and headed by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya.

Failure to comply will entail legal consequences, it said.

Army officers led by Colonel Doumbouya ousted elected president Alpha Conde in the impoverished former French colony in September last year.

Conde, now aged 84, had drawn fierce opposition after he pushed through a new constitution in 2020 that allowed him to run for a third presidential term.

Guinea earlier this month opened a judicial investigation into Conde and several other former top officials for murder, torture, kidnappings, looting and rapes.

Guinea's legislative body on Wednesday announced a three-year transition period before the return of civilian rule, defying regional partners in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which had called for a swifter timetable.

The West African bloc suspended Guinea's membership after the coup.

U.N. chief Antonio Guterres this month called for the military juntas in Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali to hand power back to civilians as soon as possible.