A coup in Guinea has toppled President Alpha Condé. Since early in the morning of 5 September, the Guinean presidential palace and its environs saw heavy gunfire. The putsch was carried out by the Special Forces Group, led by Mamady Doumbouya.
The officers who overthrew president Alpha Condé and announced the dissolution of government have announced the introduction of a curfew on the entire country “until further notice”, as well the replacement of governors and officials in the region by the military.
In a second statement read on national television this Sunday, the rebels also called the ex-ministers and presidents of the institutions to a meeting this Monday at 11am (local and GMT) at Conakry. “All who refuse to present themselves at the meeting will be considered rebels against the new leadership”, they added. The instigators of the coup have established a committee to lead the country.
‘The physical safety of the former president is not at risk’
“The curfew will be implemented at 8pm throughout the country until further notice”, says the military, whilst calling on civil servants to return to work on Monday. They have also called “all the [military] units in the country’s interior to keep the peace and to avoid movement towards Conakry”.
“The physical and mental safety of the former president is not at risk”, they have assured the country. “We have taken all the steps to ensure that he has access to healthcare”.
Among the first to react was the secretary general of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, who has “strongly” condemned any forced seizure of power in Guinea using arms, calling for “the immediate release of president Alpha Condé.”
African institutions meet to tackle situation
Félix Tshisekedi, the current president of the African Union (AU), and Moussa Faki Mahamat, president of the Commission of the AU, also reacted on Sunday, condemning “the overthrowing of the government and demanding that president Alpha Condé is released without delay.” They have called an emergency meeting of the AU to discuss the situation.
Ghana’s Nana Akufo-Addo, president of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has for its part called for “the respect of the physical safety” of the head of the Guinean state, his immediate discharge from prison and “the return of constitutional order under the penalty of law.”
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Paris and Washington denounce the coup
France has joined the appeal to call for the release of the president “without any conditions”, as has the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, who “implores all those involved to act in accordance with the law, the interests of peace, and for the best interests of the people of Guinea.”
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The United States has also “denounced the events which took place in Conakry”. In a statement, the State Department said the violence and unconstitutional measures would erode the chances for peace, stability, and prosperity in the region. J. Peter Pham, previous special envoy for the US in the Sahel region, described the coup as “worrying”. He said, “Whatever justification given, an unconstitutional regime change is always destabilising for a country, and bad for the economy”.
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