Guinean military claim to have arrested President Alpha Condé

2021-09-05 21:58:47
Guinean military claim to have arrested President Alpha Condé

Guinean special forces on Sunday announced the arrest of President Alpha Condé as uncertainty gripped the West African nation.

The news came amid reports of heavy gunfire around the presidential palace in the capital, Conakry.

In a short broadcast on state TV, soldiers who staged an uprising said they have dissolved the constitution and the government in the West African state.

However, the defence ministry said an attack on the presidential palace by mutinous forces had been put down.

Heavy gunfire had broken out near the presidential palace in Conakry on Sunday morning, with several sources saying an elite national army unit led by a former French legionnaire, Mamady Doumbouya, was behind the unrest.

An unidentified soldier, draped in Guinea's national flag and surrounded by eight other armed soldiers, said in the broadcast that they planned to form a transitional government and would give further details later.

The soldier spoke after videos shared on social media - which could not be immediately authenticated - showed Condé surrounded in a room by army special forces.

The defence ministry said the attempted insurgency had been put down.

"The presidential guard, supported by the loyalist and republican defence and security forces, contained the threat and repelled the group of assailants," it said in a statement.

"Security and combing operations are continuing to restore order and peace."

Conde won a third term in October after changing the constitution to allow him to stand again, despite violent protests from the opposition, raising concerns of further political upheavals in a region that has seen coups in Mali and Chad in recent months.

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

Guinea has seen sustained economic growth during Conde's decade in power thanks to its bauxite, iron ore, gold and diamond wealth, but few of its citizens have seen the benefits.

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