Guinea president replaces security minister following deadly protests

CONAKRY – Guinea President Alpha Conde announced on Monday that he was replacing his security minister following deadly protests against suspected efforts by Conde to extend his mandate.

Conde, 81, is due to step down next year when his second and final five-year term expires, but he has refused to rule out running again and asked his government in September to look into drafting a new constitution.

Conde’s opponents fear a new constitution could be used as a reset button on his presidency, allowing Conde to run again like other African leaders who have amended or changed constitutions in recent years to stay in power.

Protests in Conakry, the capital, and the bauxite-mining north against such a move have resulted in at least 13 deaths over the past month.

The presidential statement read on national television on Monday evening did not provide a reason for the sacking of Security Minister Alpha Ibrahima Keira, but a senior government official told Reuters it was related to Keira’s “difficulty managing the socio-political crisis.”

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