The National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC) opposition coalition is calling for demonstrations to take place throughout Nzérékoré prefecture and other southern prefectures on Thursday, June 20. FNDC leaders are planning to hold rallies in the cities of Nzérékoré, Macenta, Lola, Beyla, and Gueckegou to protest the death of a FNDC demonstrator on Thursday, June 13. Associated protests are also expected in other urban areas in the region. Heightened security measures are anticipated around all demonstrations and clashes between demonstrators and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Violent clashes broke out during a FNDC rally in Nzérékoré on June 13, resulting in at least one death and over 30 people being wounded. Nzérékoré’s prefect banned FNDC activities in the region on June 8 but the coalition still carried out the demonstration. An overnight curfew from 16:30 until 07:00 (local time) was implemented in the city following the violence.
The march was held to protest President Alpha Condé's potential bid to change the constitution and run for a third term in 2020. Opposition members allege that Alpha Condé, who has been in power since 2010, is positioning himself to change the constitution so he can stand for a third term in late 2020. Condé has not openly commented on his ambitions; however, his supporters have increased their calls for constitutional change in recent months.
Individuals in Nzérékoré prefecture are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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