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First protests in Guinea since Conde takes power

by Staff Writers
Conakry (AFP) March 7, 2011
Protesters rallied Monday in two towns in Guinea in the first demonstrations since Alpha Conde became the country's first democratically elected leader in November, police and demonstrators said.

The protesters were calling for the departure of military prefects in the towns of Dubreka and Fria.

Almost 1,000 young people marched in Dubreka, 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of the capital Conakry, demanding that Lieutenant Colonel Mamadouba Bondabon Camara step down, police said.

They then went to the prefecture where they deflated the tyres of vehicles parked in the courtyard, according to witnesses who said that the protesters accused the prefect of mismanagement and arrogance.

"The prefect should be replaced at once by a responsible administrator who has enough respect for the public good," a witnesss told AFP in Conakry by phone. Witnesses said the security forces kept a low profile.

A second demonstration took place in Fria, 150 kilometres north of Conakry, where dozens of women called for the prefect to leave, accusing Major Mohamed Nabe of sowing divisions among ethnic groups.

After marching through the town the women made for the residence of the prefect, where they organised a sit-in in the courtyard under police protection, witnesses said.

"We sons and daughters of Fria are tired of the activities of a military prefect who has done nothing for the town," Assata Camara, one of the organisers of the demonstration, told AFP.

Conde took power from a military regime following the November vote, turning the page on 50 years of dictatorship.

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