Lesmes Monteiro opened his shirt to show the 5cm scar in his chest from an attack by two knife-wielding masked men outside his home in the capital of Guinea-Bissau in 2017. The trained lawyer and part-time hip-hop artist believes he was attacked for organising anti-government demonstrations that have set off a wave of youth activism in one of Africa’s most unstable nations. A state of paralysis stemming from President Jose Mario Vaz’s feud with his party, known as PAIGC, over voter registration is stoking discontent among a public tired of lacking basic services such as clean water and electricity. “People are starting to lose their fear,” said Monteiro, a 33-year-old founder of the non-partisan Movement for Conscious and Dissatisfied Citizens. “Historically, people who criticised power in our country ended up dead or beat up, but our conviction is changing that.” The desire for change in Guinea-Bissau is symptomatic of the growing anger among young people in many African countries ...

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