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Guinea orders legal proceedings against ousted President Conde



 Then Guinea President Alpha Conde gives a speech at the Presidential Palace in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on April 26, 2019. [Reuters]


Guinea's attorney general has ordered legal proceedings against ousted President Alpha Conde and 26 of his former officials over violence surrounding Conde's disputed bid for a third term, a court document showed on Wednesday.

Conde, 84, was overthrown in a military coup last September by officers who now run the West African country. Anger against him had mounted after he altered the constitution to run for re-election in 2020, which he won.

The charges against Conde and his allies include complicity in murder and assault, sexual violence and forced disappearances arising fromcivil unrest that broke out around the disputed election, according to a document signed by the attorney general.

Conde's decision to run for a third term sparked repeated protests resulting in dozens of deaths as police cracked down with force on demonstrators, both before and after the election.

Rights group Amnesty International said that at least 50 people were killed and over 200 injured in the months leading up to the vote. At least 17 people were killed in the days after.

State security forces "benefited from total impunity in complicity with those in power in Conakry at the time", said the court document.

In it, the attorney general asked the district attorney to immediately initiate legal proceedings against Conde and a number of others including the former prime minister and former minister of defence.

It also ordered legal proceedings against anyone who participated in the destruction of buildings during the protests, and anyone who organised marches that led to violence.

The court order appeared to reverse a recent announcement by Guinea's military junta saying that Conde would be released from house arrest. He has been kept under supervision since he was ousted, although he was allowed to travel to the United Arab Emirates for a medical check-up.

Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, head of the junta, said on Saturday it would probably take more than three years to organise elections and a transition back to civilian rule.

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