Guinea: Where and in what condition is President Alpha Condé being held?

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

By Jeune Afrique
Posted on Friday, 10 September 2021 17:36

President Alpha Condé, surrounded by the Special Forces soldiers who carried out his “arrest”, on 5 September 2021. DR

We exclusively reveal where Mamady Doumbouya's men have been holding Guinea’s President Alpha Condé since his arrest.

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.

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.

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