Guinea Bans Media Reports on Conde Attacks

Posted July 27th, 2011 at 12:15 pm (UTC-5)
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Media unions in Guinea say the government has banned mention of two attacks on the home of President Alpha Conde last week.

In a joint statement, the group condemned the move as a violation of the constitution and called for “the pure and simple cancellation” of the ban.

The unions said the National Communications Council issued the ban Monday on “all broadcasts and in all national languages in the country.” It said the measure affects all radio, television, print and Internet outlets.

Guinean officials have not confirmed such a ban exists, and have not commented on the unions' statement.

Both assaults on President Conde's house took place on July 19. In the first one, authorities said assailants fired guns and a bazooka at Mr. Conde's bedroom. Hours later, more gunfire broke out near the president's home.

President Conde was not hurt in either incident.

The government said this week that it has arrested 38 people in connection with the attacks, including at least 25 military personnel.

Earlier, authorities arrested two former military officials, including General Nouhou Thiam, a former army chief. Mr. Conde fired Thiam soon after taking office seven months ago. Authorities also detained a former member of the presidential guard.

In November, Mr. Conde won Guinea's first democratic election since the country won independence in 1958.

The country has a history of authoritarian rule and coups. The most recent coup was in December 2008, when a group of military officers seized power after the death of longtime ruler Lansana Conte.

A transitional government led by General Sekouba Konate steered the country to a presidential election last year.