Guinea in turmoil as soldiers claim power, announce curfew

The soldiers said they would convene President Conde’s cabinet ministers and other top officials at 11:00 GMT on Monday.

Elite soldiers who staged an uprising in Guinea’s capital have announced a nationwide curfew “until further notice” and the replacement of regional governors by the military.

The soldiers also said in a statement read out over national television they would convene President Conde’s cabinet ministers and other top officials at 11:00 GMT on Monday in Conakry.

After seizing state television the day before, the mutinous soldiers had vowed to restore democracy in a statement read out by Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya.

“The duty of a soldier is to save the country,” read Doumbouya, who sat draped in a Guinean flag flanked by six other soldiers in uniform.

“The personalisation of political life is over. We will no longer entrust politics to one man, we will entrust it to the people,” Doumbouya said, adding that the constitution and government would also be dissolved and borders closed for one week.

Doumbouya, who has headed a special forces unit in the military, said he was acting in the best interests of the nation of more than 12.7 million people. Not enough economic progress has been made since independence from France in 1958, the colonel said.

“If you see the state of our roads, if you see the state of our hospitals, you realise that after 72 years, it’s time to wake up,” he said. “We have to wake up.”

Late on Sunday, the defence ministry had claimed briefly that the attempted uprising had been put down, saying in a statement that the group of attackers had been repelled.


Earlier on Sunday, unverified videos shared on social media appeared to show President Alpha Conde surrounded by soldiers. His whereabouts were unclear.

This followed earlier reports of heavy gunfire in Conakry near the presidential palace.

The events drew concern and condemnation from regional and international observers, including United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who said he strongly condemned “any takeover of the government by force” and called for Conde’s immediate release.

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