Guinea opposition leader calls for end to post-election protests
Guinean opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo on Monday called for an end to protests over disputed local election results that has left at least 15 people dead after violent confrontations with the security services.
Former prime minister Diallo earlier met President Alpha Conde to discuss how to defuse tensions gripping the West African country.
Weekly protests have erupted in the capital Conakry and elsewhere following the February 4 ballot that the opposition insisted were fraudulent.
"I am announcing here publicly the lifting of all demonstrations and strikes planned by the opposition", said Diallo, leader of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG) party, after the meeting.
Opposition leaders had already suspended protests for the Easter weekend but had planned for them to resume on Tuesday.
"I will give a faithful account of my meeting with the president of the republic to the opposition and to our activists," Diallo added.
The February election was the first of its kind since a military dictatorship ended a decade ago. It followed eight years of delays blamed on lack of funds, political infighting and the 2013-16 Ebola crisis.
During the meeting at the presidential palace, Conde and Diallo agreed on a series of measures, including the implementation of a 2016 agreement between the government, opposition, civil society and international partners in Guinea.
According to a statement from the presidency, the two leaders vowed to find a "solution to the electoral dispute which concerns six urban communes and six rural communes out of the 342" in the country, and the revision of lists for upcoming legislative elections.
Conde also said every effort would be made to "identify the various perpetrators of all the violence" following the election.
In a joint statement last week, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called on security forces to "act with restraint" to avoid escalating violence.
"An uptick of increasingly divisive rhetoric from all sides of the political divide, including incidents of hate speech on social media, has deepened social tension and created a risk of further violence," the statement said.
"The authorities must take immediate action to curb the use of hate speech and political parties should condemn members who use it."