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Swiss are "deeply concerned" about Guinea violence

The Swiss foreign ministry says that it is deeply concerned about the situation in the West African state of Guinea after violence in the country earlier this week.

A peaceful demonstration by opposition groups was broken up by government security forces on Monday and reports say more than 100 people were killed.

In a statement, the foreign ministry said that in addition to its lack of progress in restoring democratic rule in Guinea, the government there was "increasingly resorting to the use of force in order to crush protest actions initiated by the opposition".

"The foreign ministry condemns this excessive use of force, recalling to mind the obligation on the part of states to protect fundamental human rights, and in particular the right to life," said the communiqué released on Wednesday evening.

"It appeals to the government of Guinea to restore rule of law and democracy, and to protect the right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. The foreign ministry is also calling on the government of Guinea to release detained demonstrators and launch an immediate inquiry into the recent violence."

It added that the Swiss embassy in Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, which represents Swiss interests in Guinea and the honorary consulate in Guinea's capital Conakry, are closely monitoring the situation.

The ministry added that to date, none of the 84 Swiss nationals living in Guinea, nor the Swiss interests there had been affected by the violence. and agencies


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