Conakry - Guinean President Alpha Conde has ordered a
judicial inquiry into unrest that has killed at least 12 people in the past
week in an apparent effort to defuse protests against preparations for a
Investor confidence in the world's top bauxite exporter has
been undermined by repeated clashes since March pitting police and supporters
of Conde against opposition demonstrators who fear the election outcome will be
Conde replaced his security minister with a career policeman
earlier this week in an effort to contain the violence in Conakry, the West
African state's seaside capital, that has killed more than 50 people over the
past three months.
In an address broadcast on state television late on Tuesday,
Conde, who has been in Ethiopia attending an African Union summit during the
most recent clashes, said he had cut short his trip to return to Guinea and
deal with the crisis.
"I stress the fact that violence is unacceptable,
highly irresponsible and reprehensible," Conde said.
"I have asked the justice minister to immediately take
the necessary steps to set up a panel of judges exclusively tasked with
shedding light on recent events and rendering justice for all the
The election is meant to complete Guinea's transition to
civilian rule after a military coup in 2008. Initially due to be held in 2011,
it has been delayed repeatedly by disputes between the government and
opposition over their organisation.
Opposition leaders are demanding that Waymark, a South
African firm contracted to revise voter lists for the planned June 30 election,
be replaced and for Guineans abroad to be allowed to cast ballots.
The opposition accuses Waymark of packing the electoral
rolls with inflated numbers of voters from Conde's Malinke ethnic group,
something which the company has strongly denied.
Opposition leaders temporarily suspended demonstrations this
month to allow the UN-brokered talks with the government to take place but
later called for the protests to resume, accusing Conde of sabotaging the
Since protests resumed on Thursday, hundreds of police have
been deployed to Conakry districts inhabited by ethnic Peuls loyal to the
opposition, without succeeding in restoring calm.