Internet outages in tense Guinea as Conde on course for vote win

Guinea, gripped by days of post-election violence, suffered widespread internet disruptions on Friday after preliminary results showed a victory for President Alpha Conde.

Figures released by the election commission late Thursday showed the 82-year-old incumbent, who is seeking a controversial third term, was the clear leader in Sunday’s first round.

But opposition candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo has claimed victory and his camp has accused the government of “large-scale fraud” in counting ballots.

Internet monitoring group NetBlocks said it suspected the internet outage was an attempt by the government to restrict activity on social media to weaken the opposition. 

“The incident appears to be consistent with previous restrictions attributed to state controls during elections in the country,” NetBlocks executive director Alp Toker told AFP. 

AFP journalists reported that they had lost their internet connection on the Orange cell phone network, which is ubiquitous in Guinea.

A spokeswoman for Orange Guinea said

Read More

Fears of internet blocks ahead of tense Guinea poll

Internet freedom monitors have their eyes trained on Guinea ahead of its tension-filled election on Sunday, fearing that the government will restrict access to social media to weaken the opposition. 

The concerns come after months of political unrest in the West African state, where President Alpha Conde, 82, is bidding for a controversial third term.

Defying critics, he pushed through a revamped constitution in a referendum on March 22, which he argued would modernise the country, but which also allowed him to sidestep a two-term limit for presidents. 

Worryingly for rights activists, internet disruptions accompanied the referendum — a speech-crimping scenario they say will likely play out again.

“It’s very rapidly become an element in how elections are decided in Guinea,” said Alp Toker, the founder of internet-monitoring group NetBlocks.  

“March was an inflection point,” he added, noting that he thought fresh election-related restrictions were likely.  

Alpha Diallo, president of

Read More