President Conde won a controversial third term in October after changing the constitution to allow him to stand again despite violent protests from the opposition.
The 83-year-old dictator was seen in a video being held by soldiers hours after heavy gunfire was heard on Sunday morning at the Presidential Palace in Guinea’s capital, Conakry.
Images emerging from the Presidential palace indicate that President Conde has been overthrown and has possibly been placed on house arrest by the mutinous soldiers.
When asked in the video to confirm he was unharmed by the soldiers, President Conde who was seen seated clad in a shirt and jeans with some buttons undone, refused to respond as he appeared visibly miffed and unhappy about the situation.
In a short broadcast on state TV, soldiers who staged an uprising said they have dissolved the constitution and the government in the West African state.
An unidentified soldier, draped in Guinea’s national flag and surrounded by eight other armed soldiers, said in the broadcast that they planned to form a transitional government and would give further details later.
Colonel Mamady Doumbouya Speaks On Guinea Coup
Later on Sunday, the head of Guinea’s military special forces Lieutenant-Colonel Mamady Doumbouya appeared on public television, draped in the national flag, and cited government “mismanagement” as a reason behind his actions.
The coup leader, Doumbouya denounced President Conde for financial mismanagement, the excessive politicization of public administration, poverty, and endemic corruption in Guinea which is one of the world’s poorest countries despite boasting significant mineral resources.
To put an end to these defects, Colonel Doumbouya promised to work from now on with “the sovereign people of Guinea in its entirety” as he invoked the spirit of former Ghanaian leader, John Jerry Rawlings, who as an air force officer ousted a civilian government headed by Hilla Liman in 1979.
Quoting Rawlings, Colonel Doumbouya said: “if the people are crushed by their elites, it is up to the army to give the people their freedom. We decided immediately to dissolve the constitution,” he said in the broadcast.
He said the drafting of the new constitution would involve “the four natural regions and the diaspora. The personalization of political life is over. We will put in place a transparent and inclusive transition. We are going to put in place a new system”, reports guineenews.org.
“There were a lot of deaths, a lot of injuries, and a lot of tears. We are all going to sit down to write a constitution that is adopted to our realities, able to solve our problems because if you see the condition of our roads, you see the condition of our hospitals, you will realize that after 62 years of independence, it’s time ”that we join hands
“It’s true we dissolved the constitution. We are going to dissolve the institutions. The closure of the land borders for a week, and we are going to deal with the air border. With all our comrades, we are going to find the solution to get out of this mess ”.
The junta leader called on its “brothers in arms, units from all over the republic to stand alongside the people this time to help the people of Guinea.
“We invite everyone as far as they are concerned to continue sovereign activities ”by protecting the population and ensuring their safety.
“We are going to initiate a national consultation for an inclusive and peaceful transition. No one should die for nothing,” Doumbouya said.
He also reassured all the bilateral and multilateral partners, the international organizations to respect the commitments made to them by the ousted Conde regime.
Guinean Junta Slams Curfew, Makes Appointments
In its second press statement On Sunday, signed by Colonel Doumbouya, the junta announced a 10 p.m to 8. a.m curfew and sacked all political office holders.
Ministers with effect from Monday will be replaced by general secretaries. Governors in the regions will be replaced by military regional commanders, while unit commanders will replace prefects and sub prefects.
The junta also invited all sacked ministers and heads of government agencies for a meeting on Monday, warning that those who shun the meeting scheduled for 11 a.m People’s Palace, will be considered an enemy of the National Rally and Development Committee (CNRD).
The junta also assured the international community that the ousted President Alpha Conde is not endangered.
“We have taken all measures to ensure that he has access to health care and that he is also in contact with his doctors. Everything will be fine. When the time comes, we will issue press releases”, the junta said.
Nigerian Government, UN Condemn Guinea Coup
Nigerian Government has condemned the coup that ousted President Alpha Conde, describing it as a violation of the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.
The country’s foreign ministry on Sunday said the putsch was a violation of the ECOWAS protocol to which Guinea is signatory to.
“The Nigerian government is saddened by the apparent coup d’etat that has taken place in the Republic of Guinea today, in clear violation of the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance,” the ministry said in a statement.
“The government of Nigeria strongly condemns and rejects any unconstitutional change of government and therefore calls on those behind the coup to restore constitutional order without delay and protect lives and property.”
Also, in a tweet, United Nations secretary-general, António Guterres, also condemned “any takeover of the government by force of the gun.” He called for “the immediate release of President Alpha Condé.”
KanyiDaily had also reported how the mutinous soldiers had toppled the Malian government on August 18, 2020, after detaining President Keita and other top government officials in a military formation near Bamako, the country’s capital.
The dramatic development comes after several months of regular demonstrations calling for President Keita to step down from power three years before his final term was due to end.