Reports emerging from Guinea’s capital, Conakry have it that military soldiers have detained president Alpha Conde in a supposed coup d’etat aimed at seizing power. This potential coup adds to the long record of coup d’etat to have happened in the West African country.
Col. Mamady Doumbouya, commander of the country’s special forces who’s said to have led the hostile takeover, said on national television that President Alpha Condé was in custody following hours of gunfire in the capital, Conakry, and warned people to stay indoors.
The military has seized control of Guinea, dissolved its government and sealed the borders, Doumbouya said, citing “the trampling of the rights of citizens” and “the disrespect of democratic principles” as motivations. Cloaked in Guinean colours of red, yellow and green, Doumbouya hinted his supporters and allies plan on forging a transitional government.
” If change is denied, or too long delayed, violence will break out here and there. It is not that man planned or willed it, but it is their accumulated grievances that shall break out with volcanic fury.” – Kwame Nkrumah
Alpha Conde, who turned 83 on 4th March this year, won Guinea’s first democratic election in 2010 since she gained independence from France in 1958. His charisma through his crusade to rid the nation out of a culture of corruption and persistent autocracy made him an admirer of its 13 million inhabitants.
On Sunday, photos and video circulating on social media showed the president flanked by men in military fatigues. A silent Condé, wearing jeans and a tie-dye dress shirt, kept his gaze from the camera.
Several soldiers and the president’s bodyguards died in the clashes, local media reported.
By midday, video footage from Conakry captured people cheering as trucks carrying troops rumbled down the streets. “Bravo!” some onlookers shouted. “Bravo! It’s done!”
Not everyone exuded joy.
Thanks to Guinea’s enormous endowment in Bauxite, iron, gold and diamond, she’s seen a relatively sustainable economic growth but not without its discrepancies as the majority of the citizens are yet to benefit from it. Many critics have voiced against the government’s restrictive legislation aimed at discouraging dissent which has inadvertently fueled political rivalries and ethnic divisions.
Interestingly, Conte, with the help of the military, had seized power in a coup prior.