DON'T MISS : Talking Africa Podcast - Gates Foundation CEO: 'Stop stockpiling & deploy vaccines to Africa to avoid costly new variants'

Guinea: Can Doumbouya lead the country in a peaceful transition?

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

By The Africa Report
Posted on Wednesday, 22 September 2021 08:33

Children walk past a giant poster of Military junta Col. Mamady Doumbouya, on the street in Conakry, Guinea Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/ Sunday Alamba)

Guinea's Lieutenant-Colonel Mamady Doumbouya is launching consultations as mining companies fret and fears grow of a new military era in the region.

Guinea’s latest military junta, led by former French legionnaire Lieutenant-Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, is looking to form a united national government. However, no date has been set for any elections that will allow a return to civilian rule.

Doumbouya’s Comité nationale de rassemblement et du développement (CNRD) began discussions with politicians, civil society leaders and diplomats on 14 September.

“With President Alpha Condé detained and reportedly willing to die rather than resign, the CNRD has started talking to opposition leaders, including former prime ministers Cellou Dalein Diallo and Sidya Touré. Both men cautiously welcomed the coup and said they would join a unity government,” reports Africa Confidential. 

Does the junta have popular support?

  • When Condé was ousted, citizens were on the streets in droves to celebrate, but some of this might have been orchestrated.
  • CNRD needs to say when elections will be held, or support could quickly evaporate.
  • The coup did, however, have the support of the army.
  • The Bataillon autonome de sécurité présidentielle (the presidential guard) was defeated on the day of the coup.

Doumbouya’s support internationally

Although it was rumoured that the coup was a reaction to Condé permitting Chinese companies to gain such a large slice of Guinea’s bauxite and iron ore reserves, there is little evidence to support this. That said, Beijing, normally staying out of Africa’s internal politics, has strongly criticised the coup and called for the immediate release of Condé.

The US was said to be involved after New York Times reporters exposed the fact that Doumbouya and his fellow military men were on a training course with US Green Berets at a base on Guinea’s west coast on the night they overthrew the government.

Beijing promoted the view that video footage to this effect proved US involvement, but this is unlikely, especially as US officials have condemned the coup.

ECOWAS has suspended Guinea and was meant to hold a special summit about the crisis on 16 September – unfortunately, its authority has been weakened by three military overthrows of governments in West and Central Africa over the last six months. However, sanctions seem unlikely.

France, along with the EU, has not said more than calling for Condé’s release and a return to constitutional rule. It says it will follow ECOWAS’ lead in the situation.

Bottom line

Although Doumbouya has promised a national unity government, this idea is not yet a concrete one as no elections have been planned to that effect. He will have to make good on this promise in order to keep popular support.

The full version of this article is available on Africa Confidential.

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
Also in this in Depth:

Coup in Guinea: What we know about the putsch that toppled Alpha Conde

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.

Guinea: International uproar after coup d’état against Alpha Condé

The soldiers who instigated a coup against Guinea's Alpha Condé summoned the outgoing ministers on Monday 6 September, stating that, “any refusal will be considered a rebellion”.

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

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.

Guinea: Confiscated passports, no revenge…details from the first meeting

On Monday, 24 hours after overthrowing president Alpha Condé, Mamady Doumbouya and his men summoned former government members to a meeting. No one missed it. Former Prime Minister Ibrahima Kassory Fofana was present, as was former Minister of Defense Mohamed Diané, and former Secretary-General of the Presidency, Kiridi Bangoura. Not even the former government spokesman, Tibou Kamara was left out - all had responded to the summons served the day before...not that they had much choice.

Guinea’s military junta will strive to keep miners on board

Guinea will seek to avoid scaring off miners of its bauxite and iron-ore minerals after the coup which brought Colonel Mamady Doumbouya to power. Mining majors include Rio Tinto, Rusal, Alcoa and Chinalco.

Guinea: Russia is ‘closely following’ the political situation in Conakry

According to Russian government spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, the government is paying particular attention to the impact of Guinea’s political situation on the metals market and the operator Rusal.

Guinea: The secret story behind the fall of President Alpha Condé

Following Guinea's coup d'etat on 5 September led by Mamady Doumbouya, the regional bloc ECOWAS has just announced its suspension. A high-level mission will be sent over to evaluate the situation before any further decisions are made. But in the aftermath of the coup, there are questions that stand out: Why was it so easy to capture President Alpha Condé? Why did he ignore everyone’s warnings about Doumbouya? And where does Conakry’s new master really come from?

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

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

EXCLUSIVE Guinea: Alpha Condé ​​‘would rather be killed’ than resign

In what state of mind does Guinea's deposed president find himself? Under what conditions might he hope to be released? An ECOWAS mission was able to meet with Alpha Condé on 10 September. We've got this exclusive report from that meeting.

Were US soldiers really involved in Guinea’s latest coup?

[Fact-checking] After a video was released showing a number of US marines celebrating the fall of Guinea’s President Alpha Condé, rumours started spreading about their possible involvement in the coup. Washington has formally denied them.