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.
“Any refusal to report [on Monday] will be considered a rebellion”, said the coup leaders. The military commanders, heads of police, and the gendarmerie also had to report to the meeting.
The former ministers and heads of state were welcomed in a tent close to the People’s palace, a few metres from the building in which the Special Forces Unit set up its headquarters only a few months ago.
Since the arrest of president Alpha Condé on 5 September, it is in this tent where the heart of power lies. According to our information, it is also where they took Alpha Condé on Sunday evening, after his removal from office. Some sources say that he has since been taken to another location, which for now is kept secret.
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At 11:30 am, the leader of the coup made his entrance in front of a crowd of curious spectators. The ex-officials were silent.
Lieutenant-Colonel Mamady Boumbouya, commander of special forces and the man who toppled Alpha Condé, wastes no time. In the first five minutes, he swiftly announced that everything will be done to ensure that economic activity will continue as normal. In mining areas, he said, the curfew was lifted and maritime borders were reopened to allow trade to recommence.
He took the time to take a swipe at the previous leaders of state. “The people have suffered from the shameful behaviour of those who call themselves elites”, he said, whilst reassuring the people that “there will be no sense of hate, or revenge, and no witch hunt.”
All officials have been banned from travelling and ordered to hand over their passports and official vehicles to the military. They have been taken to an annexe and placed under tight surveillance, where no one can enter or leave.
Have they been arrested? Are they merely temporarily detained? Doumbouya did not say any more at the meeting.
The suspense was short-lived. Moments later, the ministers who had complied were released, free to return home in a country of which the new leaders of the country appear committed to securing.
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