Guinea: military detained President Alpha Condé and attempt a coup

A group of Guinean soldiers arrested President Alpha Condé, announced the dissolution of the government and Congress, suspended the validity of the Constitution and issued a curfew “until further notice.”, in a coup that was “strongly” condemned by the UN. Condé, who ruled this West African country firmly since 2010, was detained by members of the Army Special Forces Group, said the commander of that elite corps, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, identified by local media as a former French legionary who returned. to Guinea in 2018.

“We decided, after arresting the president, to suppress the Constitution in force, dissolve the institutions and also the government, as well as the closure of land and air borders,” said the Army’s Chief of Special Operations, Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, in a statement that circulated on social media. “We call our brothers in arms to unity, in order to satisfy the legitimate aspirations of the people of Guinea”, stressed the military.

“The socio-political situation of the country, the dysfunction of republican institutions, the instrumentalization of justice, the trampling of citizens’ rights and economic mismanagement led the Republican Army to assume its responsibilities towards the people“Doumbouya explained. Later, the officer reiterated those assertions in an appearance on national television, which interrupted his regular programming, in which He was seen in uniform and wrapped in the Guinean flag to criticize the “government mess.”

Confusing institutional situation

The coup sector released a video that supposedly proves Condé’s arrest, in which the 83-year-old president appears dressed in a shirt and jeans, sitting on a sofa, and refuses to answer when asked if he was mistreated. “The president is with us, he is in a safe place and a doctor has seen him”Doumbouya assured in a statement to the France 24 channel.

The coup plotters detailed that the president was arrested in the early hours of the morning in Conakry, the capital of this West African country, and announced the creation of a National Committee for Union and Development, to be assumed by the government, with the aim of drafting a new Magna Carta.

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The Guinée News news portal reported that on Sunday loud shots were heard in Kaloum, the commercial and administrative district of Conakry, as well as in the immediate vicinity of the presidential palace. After the confusion generated by the Defense Ministry of the Condé government, which in a statement said that forces loyal to the president had repelled the “attacking group” and stopped “the threat”, the coup was held in various areas of the capital. Instead, it was Rejected by the UN Secretary General, the Portuguese António Guterres.

“I follow the situation in Guinea very closely. I strongly condemn any government takeover by force of arms and I ask for the immediate release of the president, “Guterres wrote on his Twitter account. Later, the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a bloc to which Guinea belongs, strongly condemned the military rebellion.

Several coup attempts against Condé

According to the French magazine Jeune Afrique, President Alpha Condé had already faced coup attempts: In 2011, for example, your home was the target of a fierce grenade attack and subsequent assault. After coming to power in 2010, Condé was reelected in 2020 for a third term after a controversial constitutional reform and elections deemed fraudulent by the opposition.

After the elections there were confrontations in which opposition to Condé reported that 30 people were killed when defense and security forces fired at passersby and protesters. In addition, 325 people were detained until October 31, according to the prosecutor of the Conakry Court of Appeal, but Amnesty International maintains that after that date there were more arrests, including several members of opposition parties.

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