‘President in custody’ soldiers claim to seize power in Guinea

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A Guinean army colonel on Sunday announced that President Alpha Conde’s government had been toppled hours after heavy gunfire was heard near the presidential palace in Conakry, the capital.

Mamady Doumbouya, head of the elite national army unit, said the president was in custody.The colonel accused Conde’s government of “trampling of the rights of citizens” and disrespecting “democratic principles”.“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.

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The colonel said the land borders had been closed and the government dissolved.In a viral video circulating on social media, Conde was seen being asked by one of the soldiers if he had been brutalised but the president did not respond.In spite of the development, Guinea’s defence ministry insists that the uprising has been quelled.

The presidential guard, supported by the loyalist and republican defence and security forces, contained the threat and repelled the group of assailants,” the defence ministry said in a statement.Condé was re-elected for a third term in office amid violent protests in October 2020.The president won the controversial election after changing the constitution to allow him to serve another term in office despite stiff opposition.Conde’s decision to run for a third term had sparked repeated protests that resulted in the deaths of dozens of people.

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