After an unverified video showed Guinean President Alpha Condé encircled by soldiers who claimed to have seized control, his fate remains unknown.
They claimed they had dissolved the government on national television. The presidential guard, according to the defence ministry, foiled the planned takeover.
This comes after several hours of heavy shooting in the city, Conakry, near the presidential palace. President Condé’s immediate release has been sought by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the African Union.
Guinea is rich in natural resources, but it is also one of the world’s poorest countries due to years of conflict and mismanagement. On a sofa, the President sits barefoot.
The television broadcast showed nine unidentified troops, some of whom were draped in the red, gold, and green national flag, who claimed they had taken control due of widespread corruption, mismanagement, and poverty.
The National Committee for Reconciliation and Development claimed that the constitution had been dissolved and that negotiations on a new, more inclusive constitution will take place.
According to multiple sources, the coup was orchestrated by an elite force led by Lt Col Mamady Doumbouya, a former French legionnaire.
Mamady Doumbouya, Lieutenant-Colonel
Soldiers ask President Condé, 83, to affirm that he is unharmed in one footage, which the BBC has not been able to verify, but he refuses.
He is sitting on a sofa, barefoot, wearing pants and a patterned shirt, with no evident injuries. His exact whereabouts is unknown at this time.
All land and air borders were closed for a week, according to those behind the coup.
Forces loyal to the president have, however, “contained the threat and repelled the gang of assailants,” according to the defence ministry.
A military source told the Reuters news agency that the sole bridge connecting the mainland to the Kaloum peninsular, which contains most ministries and the presidential palace, had been closed off and that many soldiers, some highly armed, had been stationed near the palace.
Three soldiers have been slain, according to unsubstantiated sources. Activists and sympathizers of the opposition flocked to the streets in celebration after hearing the news.
“We are here to express our delight since we have been through a lot,” Abdoulaye Oumou Sow remarked. “We’ve had to wait a long time.” a 2px grey presentation line Mayeni Jones, Nigeria correspondent, provided the following analysis box.
The “National Committee for Reconciliation and Development” made all the appropriate noises in their broadcast statement. Those who were angered by last year’s constitutional revision allowing President Alpha Condé to seek for a third term were relieved to learn that the constitution would be discarded and replaced after public input.
There have already been reports of large throngs of opposition sympathizers and activists celebrating in Conakry’s streets.Military juntas, on the other hand, have a reputation for being erratic. There’s no guarantee they’ll keep their pledges because no one is holding them accountable.
Some fear that this current attempt is just another example of the region’s democratic norms deteriorating over time. In just over a year, this is the fourth coup attempt in West Africa. Since August 2020, Mali has experienced two military takeovers and a failed attempt in Niger.
Controversial constitutional modifications in Guinea and the Ivory Coast appear to be regressing, despite the region’s reputation for peaceful power transitions in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Ordinary West Africans would ultimately pay the price for the deterioration of democratic institutions, since they will be left without the safeguards that these institutions were supposed to provide. a 2px grey presentation line
Guinea’s World Cup qualifying match against Morocco on September 6 at home has been postponed due to the turmoil. The decision was made to “guarantee the safety and security of all players and match officials,” according to FIFA.
Following the coup, the Moroccan squad has been stranded in Guinea and is claimed to be waiting for approval from their embassy to fly out. Last year, amid violent protests, President Condé was re-elected to a controversial third term in office.
In the country’s first democratic transition of power, the seasoned opposition leader was elected in 2010. Despite achieving significant economic improvement, he has been accused of overseeing several human rights violations and intimidation of his detractors.