US military-trained Guinea coup leader sworn in as president of West African nation
Guinea coup leader Mamady Doumbouya was sworn in as interim president on Friday, following last month’s overthrow of the West African nation’s president.
During the inauguration, Colonel Doumbouya promised to respect Guinea’s international commitments while transitioning to civilian rule.
He was sworn in by Supreme Court head Mamadou Sylla for a transition period of unspecified length.
Doumbouya, 41, declared himself the 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.
The deposed leader is being held at an undisclosed location. Conde became Guinea's first democratically elected president in 2010 and was re-elected in 2015.
But last year he pushed through a controversial new constitution that allowed him to run for a third term in October 2020.
Since July, US forces had been training about 100 Guinean soldiers in a special forces unit led by Doumbouya, The New York Times reported last month.
Colonel Doumbouya, a former French Legionnaire who completed commando training courses in France and Israel, also took part in the US military exercises, the newspaper said.
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 several weeks ago that showed smiling American military officers in a crowd of joyous Guineans 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.
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.
The latest military takeover in Africa took place last week in Guinea after the country’s president, Alpha Conde, was overthrown by the junta.
So far this year, there's been a noticeably higher than average number of coups compared with the previous two decades (Niger, Chad, Mali and Guinea).
While African countries have been striving for national unity since gaining independence from European colonists, most are still involved in political crises and military coups.