Chaos, violence and insecurity have forced the African Union to make a rare decision and withdraw its observer mission in Guinea,

There appears to be constitutional crisis in Guinea as the country head to the polls.

However, the polls set for Sunday are overshadowed by fears of violence.

The European Union also voiced its concern.

In a statement, the AU said it had decided to recall its observers in the light of “recent pre-electoral developments” in Guinea.

It cited a “major controversy” surrounding the country’s electoral roll and the “impossibility” of the West African regional bloc ECOWAS to be able to confer with President Alpha Conde ahead of the high-stakes vote.

Conde, 81, is staging a referendum to modify a constitution that, he says, needs to be overhauled and take into account pressing social issues, such as banning female genital mutilation.

But critics say the change is a ploy to enable him to stay in office beyond the maximum two five-year terms allowed under the present constitution.