Coup in Guinea: Military claim to have arrested President Alpha Condé

Coup in Guinea: Military claim to have arrested President Alpha Condé

The elite forces of Guinea claimed this Sunday to have captured President Alpha Condé and “dissolved” the institutions, while the Defense Ministry assured that it had managed to repel their attack against the presidency.

“We decided, after arresting the president, who is currently with us to suppress the Constitution in force, to dissolve the institutions; and also the government, as well as the closure of land and air borders,” said one of the coup plotters in a statement that circulated on social media but was not broadcast on national television.

The coup plotters, from whom the AFP journalist confirmed these images came, transmitted a video of President Condé under arrest. They ask him if he has been mistreated and Alpha Condé, dressed in jeans and a shirt, sitting on a sofa, refuses to answer.

For its part, the Defense Ministry said in a statement that “the insurgents had sowed fear in Conakry before taking control of the presidential palace, but that the presidential guard, supported by loyal and republican defense and security forces, stopped the threat and repelled the attacking group”.

It all started this morning when a group of Guinean soldiers carried out shots in the capital, Conakry, without the scope of these movements being clear for now.

Since 08:00 local time (same time GMT), the fire of automatic weapons has been heard in Kaloum, the commercial and administrative district of Conakry where the headquarters of the presidential palace and numerous ministries are located, the Guinée News portal said.

The portal has also ensured that “Visibly disgruntled” military officers have used automatic weapons and asked citizens not to go out into the streets.

The streets in the area have been left deserted, while shots continue to be heard and, according to witnesses, armored vehicles have been deployed that appear to be heading for the presidential palace, the official residence of the head of state, Alpha Condé, who has led this West African country since December of 2010.

 REUTERS/Adriano Machado

Sources cited by the RFI station and by the portal Young Africa have identified the perpetrators of the shots as members of the Special Forces Group, a body created in 2018 and led by a former legionary of the French Armed Forces, Mamady Doumbouya.

The sources consulted by Young Africa have assured that it is an attempted coup, after months of political tensions in which Doumbouya has tried to make his group gain more weight. In May, there was speculation about the possible arrest of this officer.

The November 8 bridge, the main entry point to the Kaloum commune, would be closed by the military. Amid this confusion, it is not clear whether it is a riot or a coup attempt, according to local media.

The president already suffered another coup attempt in 2011, although the sources cited by Jeune Afrique they consider that the situation is now more serious.

File Image: Supporters of UFDG party main opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo clash with security forces after results showed President Alpha Conde won re-election in a poll the opposition says was unconstitutional, in Conakry, Guinea.
File Image: Supporters of UFDG party main opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo clash with security forces after results showed President Alpha Conde won re-election in a poll the opposition says was unconstitutional, in Conakry, Guinea.

POLEMIC BY THE RE-ELECTION

Condé, 83, won the 2010 presidential elections with 52.52% of the votes in the second round ahead of Cellou Dalein Diallo despite the fact that in the first round he had only achieved 18%. Before taking office, he offered the opposition to form a government in an attempt at national “reintegration”.

In the early morning of July 19, 2011, he suffered an attempted coup: a heavily armed commando besieged the presidential house and attacked it while Condé slept, this offensive being rejected by the Presidential Guard.

The assault, which began at 3:10 am (local time) and lasted for almost three hours, seriously affected the structure of the residence, which suffered artillery shots and explosions caused by grenades and rockets.

Several hours later another combat occurred between members of the army and the attackers in the vicinity of the Palace. At least one assailant died during the clashes and another was captured.

He was reelected for a second term in the 2015 presidential elections with 57.85% of the votes, yes his intention to remain in power had already caused a rise in tensions that dates back to 2019 and that resulted in several deaths, and for a third term in 2020 with 59.49% of votes against Cellou Dalein Diallo, who officially obtained 33.5% of the votes, although he declared himself the winner of the elections on October 19. In several cities there were clashes between the opposition and the security forces over the results.

On November 7, 2020, he was officially proclaimed by the Constitutional Court president for a third term with 2,438,815 votes, that is, 59.50% higher than the absolute majority, rejecting the resources of his opponents.

Presidente of Guinea, Alpha Condé
Presidente of Guinea, Alpha Condé

Located in West Africa, the Republic of Guinea, also known as Guinea Conakry, is a country with a Muslim majority with an estimated population of more than 11 million 600 thousand inhabitants and one of the first in the continent to obtain independence from colonialism led by Ahmed Sekou Touré.

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