Special forces members take position during an uprising that led to the toppling of president Alpha Conde in Kaloum neighbourhood of Conakry, Guinea September 5, 2021. REUTERS/Saliou Samb
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  • An elite unit of the Guinean military has staged a coup, ousting long-serving President Alpha Condé
  • In a televised broadcast, head of the unit Mamady Doumbouya said “poverty and endemic corruption” were behind the military takeover
  • The group has called all ministers and organisational heads to a meeting at the parliament on Monday and imposed a curfew
  • The United Nations, the African Union and the Commission of the African Union condemned the forceful takeover and called for President Condé’s release

Special forces soldiers in the West African nation of Guinea claim to have ousted long-serving President Alpha Condé, dissolved the government and the constitution.

On Sunday morning, gunfire was heard at the presidential palace, and later in the day, a video statement said to be read by the head of the elite army unit Mamady Doumbouya was shared on social media.

“Fellow countrymen, the social and economic situation of the country, the dysfunction of the republic’s institutions, the instrumentalization of the justice system, the disregard of the people’s rights, the disrespect of the democratic values.”

“The constant politicization of the public administration, poverty and endemic corruption has lead Guinea’s republican army through the National Committee for Rally and Development (CNRD) to take responsibility towards the people of Guinea.”

In a second statement read on the national broadcaster by an unknown military officer, the group called for a meeting at the parliament on Monday.

“Outgoing ministers and former presidents of institutions are invited at a meeting at 11 am, at the Palace of the People. Any failure to attend will be considered as a rebellion against the CNRD.”

The officer also reiterated the 83-year-old President was alive, had been given access to medical care and been in contact with his doctor.

Condé has been in office since 2010 and in October last year changed the constitution to allow for a third presidential term. The change and Condé’s ensuing re-election in December was followed by violent protests which left more than 20 people dead.

International response

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has condemned the forceful military takeover and called for the release of President Condé.

The message was echoed by the African Union in a statement on the coup d’état in Guinea.

“The President of the African Union Félix Tshisekedi and the President of the Commission of the African Union Moussa Faki Mahamat condemn all takeover of power by force and demand the immediate release of President Alpha Condé.”

“They call for an emergency meeting of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union to examine the new situation in Guinea and to take appropriate measures.”

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