President Conde 'Toppled' In Guinea Military Coup

CONAKRY — Soldiers who staged an uprising in Guinea's capital on Sunday said on state television that they had dissolved the West African nation's government and constitution and closed all land and air borders.

CONAKRY – Soldiers who staged a riot in the Guinean capital on Sunday told state television they had dissolved the West African nation’s government and constitution and closed all land and air borders.

However, an attack on the presidential palace in Conakry was repelled, the defense ministry said.

Fighting broke out near the palace on Sunday morning, with several sources saying an elite national army unit led by a former French legionnaire, Mamady Doumbouya, was behind the riots.

Videos shared on social media on Sunday afternoon, which Reuters could not immediately authenticate, showed President Alpha Condé in a room surrounded by army special forces.

Conde, whose fate was not immediately clear, won a third term in October after changing the constitution to allow him to run again despite fierce protests from the opposition, raising fears of further political upheaval in a region plagued by coups in Mali and Chad in recent months.

Doumbouya appeared on state television, draped in Guinea’s national flag and surrounded by eight other armed soldiers, and said his supporters planned to form an interim government and would give more details later.

“We dissolved the government and the institutions,” Doumbouya said. “We call on our brothers in arms to join the people.”

When the Ministry of Defense said security forces loyal to Condé had repelled the attack and were restoring order, people took to the streets in the afternoon to celebrate the apparent success of the uprising.

A Reuters witness saw pick-up trucks and military vehicles accompanied by motorcyclists and cheering onlookers. “Guinea is free! Bravo,” a woman shouted from her balcony.

The Guinean government has drastically increased and multiplied taxes in recent weeks to fill the state coffers. The price of fuel has increased by 20% causing frustration for many Guineans.

Videos shared on social media had previously shown military vehicles patrolling the streets of Conakry, and a military source said the only bridge connecting the mainland to the Kaloum district, where the palace and most ministries are located, had been closed.

Guinea enjoyed sustained economic growth in the decade under Condé’s rule thanks to its wealth in bauxite, iron ore, gold and diamonds, but few of its citizens saw the benefits.

Critics say the government has used restrictive criminal laws to stifle dissent, while ethnic divisions and rampant corruption have fueled political rivalries.

“While the president proclaimed everywhere that he wanted to govern differently by eradicating corruption, embezzlement of public funds increased. The new rich mocked us,” Conakry resident Alassane Diallo told Reuters.

“All of this made it easier for the military.”

RosGwen24 News
RosGwen24 News
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