An attempted coup was carried out in Guinea on September 5. An elite special forces unit led by former French legionnaire, Lt Col Mamady Doumbouya, captured the country’s President, Alpha Condé.
In the morning, the special forces entered the government quarter of the capital, Conakry, and besieged the presidential palace. Eyewitnesses claimed that the intense shooting was heard on the streets. No information on the victims has been revealed, but there were reports of dozens of wounded.
The Guinea military that has overthrown dictator Alpha Conde has announced an 8pm curfew countrywide until further notice. pic.twitter.com/NefFlofwnX
— #FreeBobiWine 🇺🇬🇺🇸 (@HillaryTaylorVI) September 5, 2021
The rebel leader Dumbuya spoke on national television, claiming the detention of President Condé, the dissolution of the government and the suspension of the constitution. He also claimed that all land and air borders had been closed for a week.
“We have decided, from now on, to dissolve the Constitution,” declared Col. Mamady Doumbouya.
Colonel Doumbouya said he was acting in response to the people’s will to confront poverty and endemic corruption. The rebels called themselves the National Committee for Reconciliation and Development, that is fighting rampant corruption, mismanagement and poverty.
“The crisis situation created in the country prompted the army to take responsibility through the National Committee for Unity and Development for people and the state as a whole. We have abolished the constitution, as we intend to rewrite it together with all citizens. We will hold extensive consultations. We are not going to transfer power to an individual, it will be given to the people. We came for this, and this is our only goal. We intend to work with our international partners and will comply with our obligations to international organizations, ” the colonel assured.
A video showing President Condé surrounded by soldiers was broadcasted. He is said to be in the rebels’ hands “in a safe place”. Colonel Doumbouya said he and his men had the president in custody.
However, the defence ministry said the attempted takeover had been thwarted by the presidential guard.
Scenes from Guinea as President Alpha Conde’s Government is toppled by the country’s military pic.twitter.com/tSSqGMqFOT
— Wamema Eric Stanley (@EricWamema) September 5, 2021
🇬🇳 | La capital de Guinea, Conakry, estalla en celebración espontánea tras la noticia del golpe de Estado militar contra el socialista Alpha Condé.pic.twitter.com/1NgkYagHMf
— La Derecha Diario (@laderechadiario) September 5, 2021
Following the coup reports, crowds of people were reported to take to the streets of Conakry. Opposition supporters took to the streets in celebration.
The United Nations secretary-general, António Guterres, said that he strongly condemns any takeover of the government by force of the gun and that he was following the situation closely.
The coup came a year after Alpha Condé won the third presidential term after changing the Guinea’s Constitution that allowed him to stay in power.
Before he became the country’s first democratically elected president in 2010, there were two military takeovers, in 1984 and 2008.
If the coup attempt proves successful, Guinea will become the fourth West African country that faced with a capture of power in the last year. There have been two military takeovers in Mali and a failed attempt in Niger since August 2020.
According to unconfirmed reports, Lt Col Mamady Doumbouya have recently traveled to the U.S.