Wednesday 26 July 2017

Guinea electoral violence victims to receive compensation

Guinea electoral violence victims to receive compensation
(AFP 10/12/16)

Guinea's political parties have agreed to compensate victims of pre-election violence in 2013 by the government and the opposition, which rights groups say left 60 people dead.

The months running up to the 2013 general election in the west African nation were beset by violence, while the opposition coalition alleged massive fraud including ballot stuffing and voter intimidation during the vote itself.

The agreement was announced after the close late Monday of a "national dialogue" between political parties and civil society which has also produced a rough timeframe for long-delayed local elections.

"One fund will be dedicated to compensating the beneficiaries of the dead and for disabled people, and a second will compensate victims of looting," opposition spokesman Aboubacar Sylla told AFP.

Politics in Guinea typically polarises some two dozen ethnic groups who otherwise live in harmony alongside each other -- with the Fulani, the largest at around 40 percent of the population, followed by the Malinke and Soussou.

A spokesman for the ruling Guinean People's Assembly (RPG) confirmed that compensation would be given to victims of violence in 2013 only.

His statement follows a report issued by rights groups Monday condemning the absence of prosecutions or payouts to those affected by similar crimes in a 2015 presidential election.

The Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International report also touched on the 2013 abuses, describing them as "unaddressed".

The majority of 60 deaths registered during the run-up to the vote "were allegedly caused by members of the security services," they said.

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