President Alpha Condé of Guinea has fired the country’s three top government officials for “gross misconduct.” The officials have been blamed for their failure to properly handle a deadly violence at Touba. The violence over the construction of a second mosque claims two lives.
The fired officials are the Ministers of Mahmoud Cisse, Religious Affairs El Hajd Abdoulaye Diassy and his deputy Aboubacar Fofana.
In a statement, President Conde blames the officials for the catastrophic event management at Touba, 250 kilometers from the capital Conakry. The village is founded by Karamba Diaby otherwise known as Karamba Touba. It is a popular site where thousands of Muslims in the region visit yearly. The deadly violence comes a month President Condé was voted into office for the second term.
At least 13 people have been arrested. They are being prosecuted for murder, criminal conspiracy, destruction of private property and intentional injury, Guinean government says.
The West African country has a history of religious violence. Just last month, a similar violence left two people dead and 33 others wounded.
About 85 percent of Guinea’s 12 million population are Muslim, one in 10 are Christians while the rest follow traditional beliefs.
Guinea is rich in beauxite, the mineral used to produce aluminium, but remains one of the poorest countries in the world. An outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the country in December 2013 spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. The virus killed thousands of people in the three countries before it is being contained.