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.
On the afternoon of 5 September, Alpha Condé was sitting in the back of a white 4×4, crossing Conakry with his shirt open. The Guinean president had just been dislodged from the Sekhoutoureya palace by the men of Lieutenant-Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, head of the Comité National du Rassemblement et du Développement (CNRD).
Since then, his trail has been lost and he has not reappeared in public.
A place kept secret
According to our information, that same day, Condé was taken to a special forces detachment set-up at the entrance to Kaloum, inside a wing of the Palais du Peuple, where he is still being held.
This detachment, which is adjacent to the esplanade of a large building that houses the National Assembly, is only a 5-minute walk from Camp Samory Touré – where the defence ministry is located – and 1km from the presidential palace. This plastered building, topped with green sheets, was built just a few months before the October 2020 presidential election, which Condé won.
The special forces base is located within the National Gendarmerie Officers School in Kaleya, near the town of Forécariah – about 100km from Conakry. However, Doumbouya had asked the head of state, in the run-up to the tense presidential election, if he could install a special forces detachment in the capital.
The article continues below
Get your free PDF: Top 200 banks 2019
The race to transform
Complete the form and download, for free, the highlights from The Africa Report’s Exclusive Ranking of Africa’s top 200 banks from last year. Get your free PDF by completing the following form
Despite misgivings of his entourage, including those of Mohamed Diané – his national defence minister – Condé had given Doumbouya the green light. This establishment is now the heart of the CNRD’s apparatus and is where the country’s new strongman summoned all the ministers on 6 September to ask them to hand over their passports and official vehicles.
No formal resignation
Despite being cut off from the outside world and his many telephones (the president has at least five), Condé was able to see his doctor, Colonel Kaba, the day after the coup. On 6 September, Côte d’Ivoire’s President Alassane Ouattara spoke at length on the phone with Doumbouya.
He warned the coup leader that Ecowas was paying particular attention to how he was treating the Guinean president.
According to our information, although he did not resist his arrest, Condé has refused to formally resign.
Moreover, he has not eaten any of the food that the putschists have offered him. Instead, he has stated that he will only eat meals that have been prepared by Jeremy, his personal chef of Togolese origin.
Understand Africa's tomorrow... today
We believe that Africa is poorly represented, and badly under-estimated. Beyond the vast opportunity manifest in African markets, we highlight people who make a difference; leaders turning the tide, youth driving change, and an indefatigable business community. That is what we believe will change the continent, and that is what we report on. With hard-hitting investigations, innovative analysis and deep dives into countries and sectors, The Africa Report delivers the insight you need.View subscription options