Guinea’s ruling junta have instructed additional charges against ex-president Alpha Condé, deposed in a 2021 coup.
The justice minister’s letter to the Conakry public prosecutor cites “treason.” Condé, in exile in Turkey, already faces charges of “corruption,” “murder, torture, kidnapping, and rape,” amid a backdrop of harsh repression during political demonstrations.
“You are enjoined (…) to initiate legal proceedings for alleged acts of treason, criminal conspiracy and complicity in the illegal possession of arms and munitions against Professor Alpha Condé, former President of the Republic”, wrote Justice Minister Alphonse Charles Wright.
“It has been brought to the attention of the Keeper of the Seals (…) that Alpha Condé, in association with Mr Fodé Moussa Mara”, a well-known blogger and supporter of Mr Condé, “has taken steps to obtain arms, ammunition and related materials”, said Mr Wright in the public letter dated Monday.
No additional details were provided regarding the type or amount of these weapons.
In 2010, Alpha Condé marked Guinea’s inaugural democratically elected president, breaking a history of authoritarian rule. However, his attempt to extend his presidency for a third term led to a vigorous protest movement, met with severe repression until his ousting.
Following the 2021 coup, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya took the oath as President and, facing international pressure, committed to transferring authority to elected civilians by January 2023.
He has vowed to reconstruct a nation grappling with divisions and widespread corruption. The government led by Doumbouya has initiated numerous legal actions against individuals associated with former President Condé.
The coup d’état on 5 September 2021 is one of several putsches and attempted putsches that have shaken West Africa since colonels seized power in Mali in August 2020.
Of the 486 attempted or successful military coups carried globally since 1950, Africa accounts for the largest number with 214, of which at least 106 have been successful.
According to the data compiled by American researchers Jonathan M Powell and Clayton L Thyne, at least 45 of the 54 nations across the African continent have experienced at least a single coup attempt since 1950.
Niger: On July 26, 2023, Niger’s Bazoum was overthrown by the military.
Burkina Faso: In January 2022, Burkina Faso’s army removed President Roch Kabore, blaming him for failing to contain violence by Islamist militants. In September of that year, there was a second coup by army Captain Ibrahim Traoré who forcibly deposed Paul Henri-Damiba.
Chad: In April 2021, Chad’s army took power after President Idriss Deby was killed on the battlefield while visiting troops fighting rebels in the north.
Mali: In August 2020, a group of Malian colonels removed President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. The coup followed anti-government protests over deteriorating security, contested legislative elections and allegations of corruption.
Nine months later, a countercoup happened, with Assimi Goita, who was named vice president after the first one, leading the second and becoming head of state.
Sudan: In October 2021, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan led a military takeover in Khartoum, dissolving a ruling council in which the army and civilians had shared power and throwing the country’s democratic transition into turmoil.