GUINEA MILITARY COUP DEEMED NECESSARY

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Guinea military coup leader Col Mamady Doumbouya has said a new “united” government would be formed in weeks. Col Mamady Doumbouya told ministers who served in ousted President Alpha Condé’s government that there would be no witch-hunt against former officials. He told former ministers that they could not leave the country and had to hand over their official vehicles to the military.

Guinea coup soldiers taking control of streets (image courtesy of New York Times)

DEFENCE MINISTRY DENIAL

President Condé remains in detention, but his fate is unclear. The defense ministry had earlier denied that the Condé government had fallen under loyal security forces. In a statement, the ministry claimed the presidential guard and forces had contained the threat and repelled the group of assailants in what appears to be propaganda. Images of a disillusioned Guinea President Alpha Condé in the custody of dissident soldiers have been widely circulated on social media.

Apparently, the national broadcaster is in the hands of the rebels who have said in a broadcast that Condé was in the custody of military forces which had seized control of the country, dissolved its government and sealed the borders.

The UN, African Union, and regional body Ecowas have condemned the coup and called for a return to civilian rule.”I strongly condemn any takeover of the government by force of the gun and call for the immediate release of President Alpha Condé,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres tweeted, strongly condemning the takeover of the government by force of the gun and calling for the immediate release of President Alpha Conde.

Jubilant Guinean youths join soldiers on a military truck(image courtesy of AFP)

HERO OR VILLAIN!

 In 2010 Condé had been the first president to be democratically elected in Guinea. Conde was an icon, a professor of the Sorbonne and head of the African Students’ Association in Paris. While in opposition, he had been in prison under a death sentence. Condé’s fatal error had been to refuse to stand down from power last year when the constitution demanded that he should do so after two terms in office. Instead, he manipulated an amendment to the constitution typical of most African leaders and was re-elected in a highly controversial election. The elections, marred with violence saw many Guineans die in protests.

Coup leader Col  Mamady Doumbouya has said  “The personalization of political life is over and the politics of Guinea would no longer be entrusted to one man. “We will entrust it to the people,” Doumbouya said, justifying the coup by citing “the trampling of the rights of citizens” and “the disrespect of democratic principles”. The mood of Citizens in Guinea clearly indicated that the majority supported the coup.

Guinea Aluminum Bauxite Mine (image courtesy of flour.com)

GUINEA AND HER NATURAL RESOURCES

Col Doumbouya is urging mining companies to continue their operations, adding that they would be exempted from the ongoing curfew.

Guinea is one of the world’s biggest suppliers of bauxite, a necessary component of aluminium, with China having a huge presence in the country. Following the coup, prices of aluminium escalated to their highest in more than a decade due to concerns over supplies. Guinea also produces a huge amount of Gold but the benefits of the country’s huge natural resources have never been felt by the population. Guinea’s mineral wealth makes it potentially one of Africa’s richest countries, but its people are among the poorest in the world.

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