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Guinea: Who is Mamady Doumbouya, the man once closest to Alpha Condé?

In depth
This article is part of the dossier: Guinea Coup – the Fall of Alpha Condé

By Fatoumata Diallo
Posted on Tuesday, 7 September 2021 12:38

Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, commander of the Guinean Special Forces, during a military parade in 2018. DR / Dirpa-Guinea

Mamady Doumbouya, leader of the special forces, seized power on 5 September. The former French legionary returned to Guinea barely three years ago and managed to gain the confidence of President Alpha Condé, whom he has since turned against.

Mamady Doumbouya appeared on Radio-Télévision Guinéenne (RTG) on 5 September at 2pm. The lieutenant-colonel – who had a tricolour flag draped over his shoulders, while wearing a red beret and dressed in fatigues – was surrounded by eight of his men when he announced President Alpha Condé’s dismissal. The head of the Special Forces Group also declared that he had led this coup and proclaimed himself Guinea’s new strongman.

“We will no longer entrust politics to one man, we will entrust it to the people. There have been many deaths, injuries and tears for nothing,” he said, slamming the mismanagement, corruption and bad governance that had previously reigned in Guinea. He confirmed that the institutions have been suspended, that a new constitution will be drawn up and that the Comité National du Rassemblement et du Développement (CNRD) will govern during the transition period.

Doumbouya seems to have followed in the footsteps of Jerry Rawlings, the putschist father of Ghanaian democracy. He concluded by saying that “Guinea is beautiful. We don’t need to rape Guinea anymore, we just need to make love to her.” The colossus has now become a poet.

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