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Coup attempt in Guinea: Soldiers now seize power from Alpha Condé

Coup attempt in Guinea: There has been a coup attempt in Guinea that has threatened Alpha Condé’s rule. The Guardian reported that an elite army unit announced that it has seized power.

The soldiers appeared on national TV claiming to have dissolved the government.

After heavy gunfire was heard near the presidential palace in the capial, Conakry, on Sunday morning, solider announced the country’s leaderships has been deposed in the latest political upheaval.

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres and the African Union have condemned the apparent coup and demanded the immediate release of President Condé.

The TV address featured nine unnamed soldiers, several draped in the red, gold and green national flag, who said they had taken over because of rampant corruption, mismanagement and poverty.

Calling themselves the National Committee for Reconciliation and Development, they said the constitution had been dissolved and that there would be consultations to create a new, more inclusive one. (read more below)

What was happening to the President?

There have been reports that claim that the coup was led by an elite unit headed by a former French Legionnaire, Lt. Col. Mamady Doumbouya.

In a video shared the soldiers asked President Condé to confirm he is unharmed but he refused to respond. He was seated barefoot on a sofa wearing jeans and a printed shirt without visible injuries and his whereabouts are unknown.

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“We are taking our destiny in our own hands,” he said, further criticising the state of the country under the 83-year-old president. “The personalisation of political life is over. We will no longer entrust politics to one man, we will entrust it to the people.” (read more below)

The soldiers behind the coup said that all land and air borders had been closed for a week. Later on Sunday the soldiers announced a nationwide curfew “until further notice”, saying it would convene Condé’s cabinet ministers at 11:00am (1100 GMT) on Monday.

People were warned that any refusal to attend will be considered a rebellion.

After heavy gunfire was heard near the presidential palace in the capital, Conakry, on Sunday morning, soldiers announced the country’s leadership had been deposed in the latest political upheaval to beset the mineral-rich and impoverished nation.

Col Mamadi Doumbouya, the head of the unit and leader of the apparent coup, sat draped in the country’s flag during a brief address on the national broadcaster, Radio Television Guinea, and said the country’s parliament and constitution had been suspended and the borders shut.

“We are taking our destiny in our own hands,” he said, further criticising the state of the country under the 83-year-old president. “The personalisation of political life is over. We will no longer entrust politics to one man, we will entrust it to the people.”

Later on Sunday the soldiers announced a nationwide curfew “until further notice”, saying it would convene Condé’s cabinet ministers at 11:00am (1100 GMT) on Monday.

“Any refusal to attend will be considered a rebellion,” the statement added.

The only bridge connecting the mainland to the Kaloum peninsular, which houses most ministries and the presidential palace, was sealed off while many soldiers, some heavily armed, were posted around the palace, a military source told Reuters news agency.

Unconfirmed news of three soldiers being killed was also revealed.

Source: BBC, Reuters, Guardian

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