A group of soldiers has launched a coup in Guinea-Conakry this Sunday. The military, belonging to the Army Special Forces Group, assure that they have detained the country’s president, Alpha Condé, according to statements by the Corps commander, Mamady Doumbouya, quoted by EFE.
The colonel also announced this Sunday, in a video broadcast on social networks echoed by local media, that the military agreed to “dissolve the Constitution in force” and the Executive also “to dissolve the institutions and close the land borders and aerial “.
Mamady Doumbouya justified the decision by the “socio-political and economic situation of the country” and the “dysfunction of the republican institutions”, among other reasons: “We call our brothers in arms to unity, in order to satisfy the legitimate aspirations of the people of Guinea “, he stressed.
In photographs and videos released by local media, Condé, 83, appears dressed in jeans and a patterned shirt, sitting on a sofa with a serious face and surrounded by soldiers armed with rifles in what appears to be the presidential palace in Conakry.
The situation, however, is confusing because the Ministry of Defense had assured in a statement that “the Presidential Guard, supported by the loyal and republican defense and security forces, contained the threat and rejected the group of attackers.” “The security and search operations continue to restore order and peace,” reads the official note, which does not mention a word about the president.
The apparent coup attempt occurred after loud shots were heard early in the morning in the center of the capital and Army soldiers took up positions in the area.
The automatic weapons fire was heard in Kaloum, the commercial and administrative district of Conakry where the headquarters of the presidential palace and numerous ministries are located. The streets in the area were left deserted as shots continued to be heard and, according to witnesses, armored vehicles were deployed that appeared to be heading for the presidential palace.
“The president is safe,” a government source assured the local Guinée 7 media at the time, although the images of Condé guarded by the military seem to deny that statement.
Condé, in power since 2010
The president has led this West African country since December 2010. On October 18, Guinea-Conakry held a presidential election in which it ran for a controversial third term, not allowed in principle by the Constitution, after holding a referendum to change of Magna Carta, approved with 91.5% of votes in favor.
After the violence that unleashed the elections, around 30 people died, according to the opposition, after the defense and security forces fired live ammunition at passers-by and protesters.
In addition, 325 people were arrested until October 31, according to the prosecutor of the Conakry Court of Appeal, but Amnesty International maintains that after that date there were more arrested, including several members of opposition parties.