Five young children perished in an arson attack during clashes in central Guinea on Tuesday , as anger over alleged fraud during weekend local elections turned deadly and tensions mounted ahead of the results .
Sunday ’s local elections were the first since the end of the era of military dictatorship and follow eight years of delays blamed on a lack of funds , political infighting and the 2013 -16 Ebola crisis .
Huts and houses were set on fire in the town of Kalinko , and “ five Guinean infants died in the flames ”, Territorial Administration Minister Boureima Conde said on television on Tuesday , without specifying their age or identity .
Unrest flared in the West African country after the ballot , and one person was killed in western city of Kindia when opposition party supporters clashed with security forces during vote counting on Monday .
The UN ’s special representative for West Africa , Mohamed Ibn Chambas, on Wednesday urged all sides to use legal channels to resolve their differences , and deplored “violence that has cost human lives ”.
Chambas praised the “smooth running ” of the election but said he was aware of “ imperfections here and there ”.
Opposition leaders have denounced the long-delayed local elections , saying vote rigging with proxy ballots occurred at several polling stations in favour of the party of President Alpha Conde .
Former prime minister Cellou Dalein Diallo, leader of the opposition Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea, told the press on Tuesday his party had “ all the proof of victory ”.
“ It ’s up to Alpha Conde now, as president of the republic, to know what he wants. Because we cannot continue to accept hold-ups at the ballot box, ” he said .
Presidential elections in 2010 and 2015 were also marred by violence and fraud accusations , as well as a legislative ballot in 2013 .
Diallo said his party had stayed “ calm ” during those votes , but added “ this time, for local elections , we have to mobilise”.
Activists have erected barricades in several neighbourhoods in the capital , Conakry , calling for the results to be published while accusing the ruling Rally for the Guinean People ( RPG) of fixing the ballot .
Conde himself told supporters to “stay mobilised to reject fraud ” after casting his ballot on Sunday .
Minister Boureima Conde said that while votes were being counted, with results due on Friday at the latest, “ some candidates are declaring themselves victorious , which goes against our political agreements” .
Political distrust is high in Guinea, where ethnic tensions often turn deadly around election time.
The last local election was held in 2005 under the decades -long rule of authoritarian leader General Lansane Conte, who died in 2008.
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