Soldiers who staged an uprising in Guinea’s capital on Sunday said on state television that they had dissolved the West African nation’s government and constitution and closed all land and air borders.
However, the defence ministry said an attack on the presidential palace in Conakry had been repelled.
This is just as the government of Nigeria rejects the coup, describing it as a violation of the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.
Reuters reports that fighting broke out near the palace on Sunday morning, with several sources saying an elite national army unit, led by a former French legionnaire, Mamady Doumbouya, was behind the unrest.
Videos shared on social media on Sunday afternoon, which Reuters could not immediately authenticate, showed President Alpha Conde in a room surrounded by army special forces.
Conde won a third term in October after changing the constitution to allow him to stand again, despite violent protests from the opposition.
Doumbouya appeared on state television draped in Guinea’s national flag and surrounded by eight other armed soldiers, saying his supporters planned to form a transitional government and would give further details later.
“We have dissolved government and institutions,” Doumbouya said. “We call our brothers in arms to join the people.”
As the defence ministry said security forces loyal to Conde had repulsed the attack and were restoring order, people emerged onto the streets during the afternoon to celebrate the uprising’s apparent success.
A Reuters witness saw pick-up trucks and military vehicles accompanied by motorcyclists and cheering onlookers. “Guinea is free! Bravo,” a woman shouted from her balcony.
But the Federal Government condemned the military coup in Guinea.
It called on those behind the unconstitutional change of government to restore constitutional order without delay and protect lives and property.
The FG in a statement on Sunday by the spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs Esther Sunsuwa, said it was saddened by the development in Guinea.
The statement titled, ‘Nigerian government condemns coup d’etat in Guinea,’ reads, “The Nigerian government is saddened by the apparent coup d’etat in the Republic of Guinea, in clear violation of the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.
“The government of Nigeria strongly condemns and rejects any unconstitutional change of government and therefore, calls on those behind this coup to restore constitutional order without delay and protect all lives and property.”
(Text, excluding headline The Punch)