Guinea’s president, Alpha Condé, is being held in military detention, according to an elite unit of the army who led to a coup die has been condemned by the international community but welcomed by many in Guinea.
The leader of the coup and head of the countries special armed forces, Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya, announced in state broadcaster on Sunday that the country’s constitution was suspended, government dissolved and the borders closed, with imposed a 24-hour curfew.
All political prisoners would be released and an 18-month renewable transition would begin, under a new National Committee for Reconciliation and Development, Doumbouya, a former French legionnaire, said. The events have the 11-year regime of the 83-year-old president and led to political unrest in the mineral-rich but impoverished West African country.
“As the people are crushed by their elites, it is up to the army give the people their freedom,” he said.
The president hasn’t been seen since the unrest started on Sunday morning, but photos and images circulating on social media showed soldiers surrounding him as he leaned back on An bank in bare feet, jeans and a partially open shirt and vest. “The president is with us’ said Doumbouya, making arrests of other senior government officials were also reported.
Ministers and institutional leaders were called for a meeting on Monday, with doumbouya warning Which failure attending would be seen as an act of rebellion.
On Mondays the new military leaders announced Which former ministers would not be subjected to witch hunts, but had to surrender everything government vehicles and were not allowed to leave the country without permission. Regional authorities were taken over by means of military civil servants in the whole country.
Condé, a once beloved opposition activist, came to power in 2010 with popular support, draw a line under a history of cheeky military rule. But despite some economic benefits and development, the country remains impoverished, and violations of rights have increased in recent years, with dissenters imprisoned and abused.
The routine imprisonment and abuse of opposition figures and critics deeper resentment in the coastal country of 13 million people. Scores were killed during protests against Condé’s controversial third-term win last year and changes to the constitution.
On Sunday, videos posted on social media left burgers greet soldiers in the capital, such as news of the coup echoed in the country. Crowds danced in cheering, waving met the flag of the country in the streets.
But after the military statements, the US, the UN and the regional body Ecowas quickly condemned the coup and expressed his fears of uncertainty and further instability.
A statement on the “military heart attack of power in Guinea” by the US State Department said: “Violence and any extra-constitutional measures will only erode Guinea’s prospects for peace, stability and prosperity. These actions can ability of the United States and other Guinea international partners to support the country.”
The President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, who chairs Ecowas, said: on sunday the body “condemns with the greatest steadfastness of this attempted coup.”
On Monday, Russia, a strong ally of Guinea, also said: “We demand the release of Mr Condé and a guarantee of his immunity.”
Analysts expressed concern over the fact that the coup power vacuum, with probable disturbance for the country’s lucrative mining sector, where protests had occurred in last months, die the authorities have curtailed down on.
Eric Humphery-Smith, Africa analyst Bee risk intelligence firm Verisk Maplecroft, said: “For the country’s thriving mining sector, the situation couldn’t have come at a worse time. Miners have little else now option then wait and wait for further clarity from the transitional authorities.”
The new military rulers said all existing mining obligations would be honored.
Yet in Guinea, were many prominent civil society figures more hospitable of the army role. The National Front for the defense of the Constitution, a leading civil society group die led to mass protests in response to Condé’s third-term offer, called on burgers to hold a meeting to welcome the release of political prisoners.
“We are waiting for the final liberation of civil society leaders. People in Guinea has fully understood and accepts this situation,” said Ibrahima Kalil Gueye, a spokesman for the group. “The Statements of the international community can still go on but on the ground determines everything. I think the situation is under control of the military and accepted by the population.”
The military promised to hold meetings with civil society organizations to consult on the terms of the transition, he said, die the army had stated would… last for minimum 18 months.
Fabien Offner, a researcher from Guinea for Amnesty International, said: “There is a… big gap between the statement of the international community, who strongly condemned this coup and felt people [in Guinea]. When Condé Walked for a third term, a lot of people say, ‘What did you say then?’ People feel like allies of Condé said too little over abuses.”
The events in Guinea are the latest political upheaval in West Africa, where? military juntas have taken control of power in Mali – in the second coup within a year – and Chad, after the death of Idriss Deby. The unrest has deepened the fears die stilt: already vulnerable to rising jihadist violence in the Sahel could be weakened.
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