Hun­dreds de­mand Guinea Bis­sau gov­ern­ment re­sign

Sunday Observer - - NEWS - ISSAU - African News Agency

BAround 1 000 op­po­si­tion pro­test­ers gath­ered Fri­day to call for the res­ig­na­tion of Guinea-Bis­sau's gov­ern­ment, a year on from a failed me­di­a­tion process aimed at end­ing the coun­try's grind­ing po­lit­i­cal cri­sis.

The tiny west African state has been in the grip of a power strug­gle since Au­gust 2015, when Pres­i­dent Jose Mario Vaz sacked then premier Domin­gos Si­moes Pereira, leader of the African Party for the In­de­pen­dence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC). Talks me­di­ated by Guinean Pres­i­dent Al­pha Conde in Oc­to­ber 2016 had en­vis­aged nam­ing a new prime min­is­ter, putting to­gether an "in­clu­sive" gov­ern­ment and rein­te­grat­ing the law­mak­ers into the PAIGC.

A heavy se­cu­rity pres­ence in the cap­i­tal Bis­sau pre­vented an even larger protest, or­gan­is­ers told AFP, where a jour­nal­ist at the scene counted around 1 000 pro- testers drawn from 18 dif­fer­ent par­ties, who aimed an­gry chants at the pres­i­dent.

"This meet­ing is just the be­gin­ning of a se­ries of ac­tions that we are un­der­tak­ing. We are just warm­ing up," said Pereira, ex­press­ing hope that the mil­i­tary, civil so­ci­ety and re­li­gious groups would join fu­ture protests.

More ral­lies are ex­pected across Bis­sau un­til Novem­ber 5, the or­gan­is­ers said.

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