Panafrican News Agency

Joint ECOWAS, AU, UN mission expected in Guinea

Conakry, Guinea (PANA) - A high-level delegation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) will on Thursday begin a 48-hour visit to Guinea, less than three weeks before the crucial 18 October presidential election.

A statement from the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWA) said the objective of the mission is to renew the support of the three organizations for the holding of a peaceful, inclusive and transparent presidential election in the country.

The delegation will be composed of Mrs. Minata Samaté, AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Jean Claude Kassi Brou, President of the ECOWAS Commission, and Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS).

The members of the delegation will hold a series of meetings with stakeholders in the Guinean electoral process.

The mission arrives in Guinea at a time when the campaign for the election is in a state of turmoil due to the increasing violence in several parts of the country.

The motorcade of Prime Minister Ibrahima Kassory Fofana, who is also the campaign manager of outgoing President Alpha Condé, was stoned in Labé, in Middle Guinea, stronghold of former head of government Mamadou Cellou Dalein Diallo, President Alpha Condé's main challenger, and the leader of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG).

According to a government statement, the Prime Minister's motorcade was violently attacked on Tuesday at the end of a meeting he held at the Labé Stadium, where seven vehicles of the convoy were stoned and their occupants injured by stones and broken glass.

It was in this locality that his convoy was attacked last year after a meeting with religious leaders to whom he had gone to explain the benefits of the National Agency for Economic and Social Inclusion (ANIES), set up by the government to reduce poverty in the poorest households in the country.

Also, at the entrance to the town of Dalaba, not far from the locality of Labé, in Middle Guinea, the Prime Minister's delegation ran into barricades and a stone-throwing group, causing further injuries.

In addition, in the wake of the call to demonstrate on Tuesday by the opposition umbrella, National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC), which denounces the third term candidacy of President Condé, groups of demonstrators erected barricades in several places in the capital before proceeding to strip passers-by.

Diallo's UFDG has issued a statement blaming the government for the violence committed in his Middle Guinean stronghold.

-0- PANA AC/JSG/BBA/MA 1Oct2020