(Conakry) The coup plotters who overthrew Guinean President Alpha Condé on Tuesday released a first group of dozen opponents of the overthrown regime on the eve of a summit meeting of the Economic Community of West African States (Cédéao) in Guinea.
Posted on Sep 7, 2021 at 5:15 pm
Mouctar BAH Agence France-Presse
The soldiers, led by the Chief of Special Forces, Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, also insisted on the imminent opening of a national “consultation” to determine the modalities of the political transition under the leadership of a future government of national unity in this poor country with important natural resources.
ECOWAS, which condemned the takeover and arrest of Mr Condé on Sunday, is due to hold a virtual extraordinary summit on Wednesday from 2 p.m. GMT to discuss the situation in Guinea.
After a similar coup in neighboring Mali in August 2020, ECOWAS primarily imposed economic sanctions until the military made a transition of up to 18 months to restoring power to civilian leaders after elections.
A delegation in Mali, led by the ECOWAS mediator in this crisis, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, also expressed concern on Tuesday about compliance with the deadlines, saying: “Concerned about the inadequacy of measures to effectively prepare the electoral process”. “.
The more than ten-year epilogue of the Alpha Condé regime in Guinea has generated widespread international condemnation, particularly from the African Union (AU), which called for the “immediate release” of Mr. Condé and a “return to constitutional order”.
Assessment of the coup still unknown
No coup-related deaths have been officially reported. But the Guinean media have reported ten to twenty deaths in the ranks of the Presidential Guard, information that cannot be verified due to the lack of access to hospitals. Photos and names of at least ten victims circulated on social networks, accompanied by expressions of condolences.
Special forces say they acted to end “financial mismanagement” and “civil rights violations”.
They dissolved the government and institutions and abolished the constitution that Mr Condé had adopted in 2020 by invoking this amendment to the Basic Law to stand for re-election after two terms in office despite months of bloody protests.
A first group of dozens of people arrested, particularly during this quarrel, began their release on Tuesday evening.
An AFP correspondent saw about twenty of them leave the Conakry civil prison, including opponents Abdoulaye Bah and Etienne Soropogui, or a defector from the ruling party, Ismaël Condé, who came out of three because of comments suggesting that only guns could drive Alpha Condé was sentenced to years and four months in prison by the power.
A list of 79 detainees released on Tuesday was approved after consultations between the new authorities, the prison administration and the detainees’ lawyers.
The National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC), a coalition of political movements and civil society that led the protest against the third term, initially hoped for the release of its detained members on Monday.
The coup after months of political and socioeconomic crisis worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic sparked bursts of joy in Conakry.
“We stand behind Doumbouya,” said Abdoul Gadiri Diallo in Bambéto, a suburb known as opposition and regularly shaken by clashes between demonstrators and security forces, “he will clean up this country very well, we count.” on him”.
For another resident of Bambéto, Kaba Kemoko Lamine, “people had waited a long time for this and the opportunity was there”.
The soldiers also began dismantling the mixed army / gendarmerie / police stations installed on the capital’s main axes, especially in the suburbs, on Tuesday, which, according to its critics, allowed the Condé regime to contain the demonstrations.
They imposed a curfew and closed the borders before announcing their reopening on Monday.
An opposition coalition led by Mr. Condé’s main opponent, former Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo, expressed its support for the new military power and urged them to work on the “establishment” of legitimate institutions that “fast” “to” the Lead country to national reconciliation and the establishment of the rule of law “.
Russia, economically present in Guinea with the aluminum giant Rusal, one of the world’s leading producers of bauxite, the most important ore for aluminum production, called for the restoration of legality “as soon as possible” and for their interests to be respected.
“In any case, we expect that the interests of our business people and our societies will not be adversely affected, that their interests will be safeguarded,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
The South African mining giant AngloGold Ashanti, which owns a gold mine in Siguiri (northeast) through a subsidiary, stated that it would continue to “work normally”.
Lt. Col. Doumbouya promised on Monday that he would respect all economic and mining treaties and “encourage foreign investment”.