Authorities announced the closure of the country's land borders with Guinea-Bissau and Senegal on Tuesday, September 29, ahead of the presidential election on October 18. Guinea-Bissau officials have stated that the border has been unilaterally closed since Sunday, September 27, with Guinean officials citing security reasons without further elaboration. The closure has left a number of Guinean expatriates in Guinea-Bissau facing difficulties in returning to vote. The move also comes amid personal tension between President Umaro Sissoco Embalo of Guinea-Bissau and President Alpha Conde of Guinea. No comment has been made regarding when borders will reopen.
Further restrictions may be introduced over the period running up to the October 18 poll.
President Alpha Conde, in power since 2010, pushed through a change in the constitution following a referendum in March that effectively reset the two-term limit in the constitution and allowed him to run as his party candidate in the upcoming presidential election on October 18. Opposition supporters boycotted the referendum and have held widespread protests over the amendments in recent months, which have frequently resulted in clashes with security forces.
Those in Guinea are advised to remain apprised of the political situation, avoid all public demonstrations and election-related events as a precaution, avoid discussing politically-sensitive topics in public, and heed all directives issued by the local authorities.
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