Just months after Guinea President Alpha Conde assumed office for a third term, mutinous soldiers have captured him and announced on state television that the government has been dismissed in a coup.
On Sunday evening, the nation’s special forces soldiers announced on state television that they have ousted President Alpha Conde.
The troops also declared a countrywide curfew “until further notice” as well as the replacement of the governors with the military.
In his speech, Mamady Doumbouya, the elite army unit’s boss, said “poverty and endemic corruption” had pushed his troops into overthrowing the head of state.
“We have dissolved the government and institutions,” Doumbouya, an ex-French foreign trooper declared on television. He was swathed in Guinea’s national flag and encompassed by eight other armed soldiers.
He declared that his forces have shut down Guinea’s land and air borders and that they shall be rewriting a constitution together even as they form a transitional government.
“The personalization of political life is over. We will no longer entrust politics to one man. We will entrust it to the people,” Doumboya said.
Further, the soldiers indicated that the militants would gather Conde’s cabinet ministers and other highly ranked officials at 11:00 am (1100 GMT) in Conakry on Monday.
GUNFIRE IN CONAKRY
on Sunday, gunshots were heard near the presidential palace in Conakry, the capital, with at least two people sustaining injuries in what witnesses dubbed an attempted coup.
Shots were fired at Conakry’s Kaloum peninsula area which hosts both the presidential palace and other government institutions and ministries.
Credible sources in the palace told news agencies that the president had indeed been captured by special forces. However, the source noted that the troops staging the coup were only a small group, meaning that the other troopers were staying loyal to president Conde.
Following the incident, troopers have been deployed to the streets with soldiers barring citizens from accessing mainland Kaloum.
President Conde is said to be unharmed by the shoot out but his exact whereabouts remain unclear.
Local residents said that they had been ordered by soldiers to stay at home.
UN SEEKS CONDE’S RELEASE
Via a Sunday statement, Guinea’s defense ministry claimed that the presidential guard and security forces “had contained the threat and repelled the group of assailants.”
However, videos making rounds on social media suggested otherwise as they showed Conde in the custody of the army and barefooted.
The UN has thus called for the release of the president and decried the forceful “takeover” in Guinea. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres indicated that he is “personally following the situation in Guinea very closely.”
Videos seen from Conakry showed groups of people dancing and celebrating in the streets after receiving news of the president’s ouster.
One woman was captured saying she is extremely happy about the ouster since the situation in Guinea has been dismal.
“The people suffered so much — there is no water, there is no electricity, there are even no streets! No streets in Guinea, that is ridiculous! We are all tired of it.
“President Conde first assumed office in 2010 following the nation’s maiden democratic elections. The next year, 2011, he survived an attempted assanination.In October 2020, 83 year old Conde won a third term as president. However, his victory came after pushing for constitutional amendments that allowed him exceed the two presidential term limits.
According to the opposition, the most recent presidential polls were fraudulent, leading to the murder of scores of people in anti-government protests.
Despite the president vowing to eliminate the nation’s rampant corruption, critics say he has failed to improve life for the average Guinean.Guinea is rich with natural resources among them diamonds and gold but the majority of citizens wallow in poverty.
Colonised by France, Guinea declared independence in 1958 but witnessed a period of military dictatorship from 1984 to 2008.