A few weeks before the presidential election on 18 October 2020, Guinea will close its borders with Senegal and Guinea-Bissau. In Bissau, the decision seems curious and also surprises thousands of Guinean voters located in their country and living in Guinea-Bissau. All fear of being excluded from the process.
as reported from Bissau,
Although it is often common for land and air borders to be closed with the advent of major electoral competitions, this border closure concerns only two of the six countries surrounding Guinea. This one-sided message from Conakry caused surprise, especially as several Guineans settled in their homeland and lived in Guinea-Bissau is stranded without the possibility of crossing borders. They fear they can not vote in the President’s vote scheduled for October 18th.
This is the case with Morlaye, who has been waiting for hours for permission to return and vote in her country. “The fact that the border is closed takes us by the throat. Honestly, we are disappointed. We see that steps are being taken so that we can get permission to vote here in Bissau in the Guinean embassy ”.
Guinea and its neighbor Guinea-Bissau share 324 km of common borders. Porous boundaries where passage from one side to the other can take place without going through a control structure.
“We are very determined to vote in Guinea”
In Buruntuma, a border town between Bissau and Guinea, vehicles are parked along the road to Sara Boido, the first Guinean locality, under the watchful eye of the defense services. These transport vehicles are desperately waiting for passengers from Conakry.
Sitting under a mango tree, Hady and a dozen of her peers are also waiting for the border to open. They plan to go through the bush if the border remains closed. “We are between 3,000 and 5,000 registered in our cities of origin. We are very determined to vote in Guinea. We have to go home and nothing can stop us, ”he explains.
No official response yet, but if the measure is extended, it could greatly disrupt the Bissau-Guinean market provided with basic necessities, partly by Conakry.