Heavy gunfire, for many hours near the presidential palace in the capital , Conakry was followed by soldiers appearing on national TV claiming to have dissolved the government and seized power. The President Alpha Condé, in an unverified video is seen surrounded by these soldiers.

 

The defense minister however said the attempted take over had been thwarted by presidential guard.

 

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

The West African country of Guinea is rich in natural resources but years of unrest and mismanagement mean it is one of the world’s poorest countries.

In the TV address several unnamed soldiers, draped in the red, green and gold national flag , say they have taken over due to unchecked corruption and terrible poverty and general mismanagement of the country.

The soldiers call themselves the national Committee fir Reconciliation and Development,

they said the constitution had been dissolved and that there would be consultations to create a new, more inclusive one.

Numerous reports say the coup was led by an elite unit headed by a former French legionnaire, Lt Col Mamady Doumbouya.

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.

Numerous reports say the coup was led by an elite unit headed by a former French legionnaire, Lt Col Mamady Doumbouya.

In one video, which the BBC has not been able to verify, soldiers ask President Condé, 83, to confirm he is unharmed but he refuses to respond.

Sitting barefoot on a sofa wearing jeans and a printed shirt, he does not have any visible injuries. His current whereabouts are unknown.

Those behind the coup said that all land and air borders had been closed for a week.

Earlier, 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.

air borders had been closed for a week.  However, according to the defense ministry, forces loyal to the president have “contained the threat and repelled the group of assailants”.

Earlier, 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.

here are unconfirmed reports that three soldiers have been killed.

Following the news, opposition supporters and activists took to the streets in celebration.

This is the fourth attempted coup in West Africa in just over a year. There have been two military takeovers in Mali and a failed attempt in Niger since August 2020.

Contested constitutional amendments in Guinea and the Ivory Coast, a region that had been celebrated for a number of peaceful transitions of power in the nineties and early 2000s, appears to be regressing.

Ultimately those who’ll pay the price for the erosion of democratic institutions are ordinary West Africans, left without the protections these institutions were meant to provide.

As a result of the unrest, Guinea’s football World Cup qualifying match against Morocco at home on 6 September has been postponed

 

The Moroccan team is trapped in Guinea following the coup and is said to be awaiting clearance from their embassy to travel to the airport.

Travelling to west African Guinea is not recommended at this time.

By Shiroh

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