Leaders of a military coup in Guinea have vowed to put in place a transitional government of national unity after overthrowing President Alpha CondÃ© and dissolving his cabinet. The Kaloum district in Conakry was the scene of heavy gunfire until Sunday as special forces fought with soldiers loyal to CondÃ©, according to Reuters.
During a rally on Monday, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya called on senior officials in CondÃ©’s government to hand over their official vehicles and passports, according to Al Jazeera News. A day after the coup, Doumbouya said there would be no âwitch huntsâ but limited travel for officials. An army unit appears to have Conde in custody and other politicians have been arrested or prevented from traveling.
This is the third coup d’Ã©tat since April in West and Central Africa. This raises concerns about the return of military rule to a region that has progressed towards democracy since the 1990s.
“A consultation will be conducted to define the major framework for the transition, then a government of national unity will be set up to lead the transition,” Doumbouya said during a meeting. No details regarding the transition or the date of a return to democratic elections were given.
The military coup aroused many mixed feelings among residents of his region and around the world. Some have greeted the coup with dissatisfaction with CondÃ© as a leader. Reuters reports that CondÃ© said Guinea would function democratically, but rather violently silenced opponents, failed to reduce poverty and attempted to run for a third term in power, which many have said. declared illegal.
Many feared for the mining sector as Guinea has the largest bauxite reserves in the world. It contains an ore used to produce aluminum. Prices for the metal climbed to a 10-year high on Monday, but there was no sign of a supply disruption. Doumbouya said the maritime borders will remain open so that mining products can be exported. BBC News claims Guinea’s mineral wealth makes it one of the richest countries in Africa, but its population is among the poorest in West Africa.
Two diplomatic sources said Prime Minister Ibrahima Kassory Fofana, Presidential Minister Mohamed DianÃ©, and the National Assembly Amadou Damaro Camar had been arrested.
Guinea has experimented with different forms of government such as socialism, a two-year junta regime and a decade of civilian rule according to BBC News. These various forms of government have had a negative impact on their development as a nation.
The international community condemned the takeover and pressured the new military leaders to come up with a plan that goes beyond the overthrow of the government. Amnesty International has questioned the legal basis for CondÃ©’s detention and for releasing the dissidents he detained during last year’s elections.
The United Nations also denounced the takeover and the African Union and the West African regional bloc threatened sanctions according to Al Jazeera. The US State Department has said the violence, among other things, will damage Guinea’s chances for stability and prosperity. The New York Times published an article stating that while the US government denounced the military takeover, US forces were training the Guinean soldiers who staged the coup. The United States is training troops in many African countries with the main objective of combating terrorism, but also with the idea of ââsupporting governments led by civilians.
Spokesmen for the United States vehemently denied any involvement in the coup, and the US Department of State also said the coup could limit the ability of the United States and other international partners to Guinea to support the country.