GUINEA – Unrest, Foreign nationals advised to keep low profile.

Arrest of Muslim cleric incites unrest in Conakry The arrest of a Muslim cleric involved in the burial of a suspected Ebola victim sparked widespread unrest in Guinea’s capital, Conakry, on 9 February. Protesters took to the streets of an undisclosed area of the capital and blockaded roads with burning tyres and other debris. Several vehicles, including a bus owned by a local hotel, was attacked and vandalised in the unrest. At least 12 people were wounded in clashes which ensued between protesters and riot police deployed to disperse the unrest. The aforementioned incident highlights how small-scale protests can violently escalate with little to no warning in Guinea. Indeed, issues linked to the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the country, which has placed restrictions on burial practices, is particularly emotive and has often prompted outbreaks of violent unrest. Foreign nationals have often been targeted in such unrest amid local beliefs that the Ebola virus is a foreign disease which was brought to the country by Western nationals. Consequently, foreign nationals in Guinea are advised to maintain a low profile and should defer travel to areas affected by civil unrest, particularly if such agitation is linked to the Ebola outbreak.