US military trained Guinean troops who staged coup in West African nation
US forces had been training about 100 Guinean soldiers in a special forces unit led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, the mastermind behind the country's recent coup that is now the leader of the West African nation.
American Green Berets were training local forces in Guinea since mid-July, and Colonel Doumbouya took part in the US military exercises, the New York Times reported.
Doumbouya, 41, declared himself the new leader of Guinea after he led a group of special forces into the presidential palace and deposed the country's 83-year-old president, Alpha Condé, on September 5.
Doumbouya, 41, a former French Legionnaire, served for France in Afghanistan and Ivory Coast and completed a commando training course in Israel, according to his official biography.
A photo of him meeting with officials of the US Africa Command at the US Embassy in Guinea’s capital also went viral, leading many to assume that this may have been a ‘Western-backed’ military coup.
For the Pentagon, the coup is an embarrassment, although the US military claims it had no advance knowledge of it.
The Pentagon’s embarrassment was made worse by video footage circulating in recent days that showed smiling American military officers in a crowd of joyous Guineans on Sept. 5, the day of the coup.
The United States has trained troops in many African nations, supposedly for “counterterrorism programs”. However, numerous US-trained officers in Africa have seized power in their countries, most notably, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt.
Also in 2012, US-trained commanders in Mali’s elite army units defected from their government at a critical time, taking troops, trucks, weapons and their newfound skills to insurgents across Mali’s northern desert.
Military coups in African countries, which have increased significantly in recent years, are the most important legacy of the Western colonial powers.
In their grab for influence and resources, colonial powers drew artificial borders across the Middle East and Africa, often arbitrarily splitting traditional tribal territories into new states.
These Western imperialists turned African countries into hotbeds of conflict and war, exposing them to violent changes of power to the point that the number of coups exceeded 200 since the late 1950s.
Experts say Europe's arbitrary post-colonial borders left Africans bunched into countries that don't represent their heritage, a contradiction that still troubles them today.
Western observers have blamed the continent’s political violence to rising tide of terror groups, but African scholars have long maintained that the national borders in Africa, most of which date back to the period in the late 1800s when European powers divided up most of the continent in a flurry of diplomatic agreements and colonial wars now known as the “Scramble for Africa,” are actually one of the biggest sources of its present-day strife and violence.
Studies have shown that traditional ethnic homelands that are now partitioned by national borders see more violence than ethnic areas that avoided being split during the colonial era and are still wholly contained in a single contemporary African state.