Guinea putschists promise to free ‘political detainees’



Guinea putschists promise to free ‘political detainees’

Putschists who seized power in Guinea at the weekend have pledged to release “political detainees” held under ex-president Alpha Conde and repeated a vow to hold talks on forming a new government.

Special forces led by Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya seized power in the impoverished West African state on Sunday and arrested the president, sparking international condemnation.

The shock move came amid increasing criticism of the 83-year-old for perceived authoritarianism, with dozens of opposition activists arrested after a violently disputed election last year.

In an announcement on Monday evening, the military called on the justice ministry to do what it can to release “political detainees” as soon as possible.

Guinea’s leading opposition coalition FNDC — many of whose members were arrested under Conde — said its activists had been expected to be released on Monday.

But as supporters gathered at the coalition’s urging outside the central prison in the capital Conakry, no prisoner has yet been released.

Doumbouya on Tuesday also repeated a pledge, first made after the putsch, to hold talks on forming a new government in the troubled country.

“The government to be installed will be that of national unity and will ensure this political transition,” he tweeted.

Sunday’s coup triggered broad diplomatic condemnation — including from the United States, European Union, African Union and the West African bloc ECOWAS — with calls for Conde’s release.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is due to hold a virtual extraordinary summit to discuss the situation on Wednesday.

Public discontent in Guinea had been brewing for months over a flatlining Covid-hit economy and the leadership of Conde, who became the first democratically elected president in 2010 and was re-elected in 2015.

But last year, Conde pushed through a new constitution that allowed him to run for a third term in October 2020.

The move sparked mass demonstrations in which dozens of protesters were killed. Conde won the October election but the political opposition maintained the poll was a sham.

Doumbouya, hours after taking power, appeared on television and accused the government of “endemic corruption” and of “trampling on citizens’ rights”.

Conde’s whereabouts are currently unknown, although the military has guaranteed his safety.

A video sent to AFP by the putschists on Sunday showed a rumpled-looking Conde sitting on a sofa, in jeans and a partly unbuttoned shirt, surrounded by troops.

He refused to answer a question about whether he was being mistreated.

‘Peaceful democracy’
The military coup was met with jubilation in some parts of Conakry, where residents turned out on the streets to applaud passing soldiers.

Cellou Dalein Diallo, the country’s main opposition leader, also expressed his support for the new military government, in the hope that it will lead to “a peaceful democracy” in the nation of 13 million people.

On Monday, Diallo’s opposition coalition ANAD urged the ruling military to establish “legitimate institutions capable of implementing reforms” and to uphold the rule of law.

Hours after the coup, Guinea’s putschists dissolved the constitution and the government.

No deaths have been officially reported in the putsch, although Guinean media has reported that five presidential guards were killed.

AFP was unable to independently confirm the account.

No ‘witch hunt’
“We are no longer going to entrust politics to one man, we are going to entrust politics to the people,” Doumbouya told public television on Sunday, with the national flag draped over his fatigues.

Then on Monday, in his first public appearance as military leader, he promised that there would be no “witch hunt” against former government members.

Ministers have nonetheless been banned from leaving the country.

Doumbouya has also sought to reassure the business community, alarmed over the potential for disruptions in commodity supply chains.

Mining is the economic backbone of Guinea, one of the world’s poorest countries despite its abundant mineral resources, from bauxite and iron ore to gold and diamonds.

Guinea will continue to uphold “all its undertakings and mining agreements,” Doumbouya said.

The coup leader is in his early forties and was trained at France’s Ecole de Guerre military academy. He was also a member of the French Foreign Legion.

Guinea has spent decades under the authoritarian rule since its independence from France in 1958. The latest coup is the third in the country’s history.

Short Link:


NNN: :is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor @

Recent Posts

Pharmaceutical company reasserts commitment to achieving zero malaria tolerance 77 teachers smile home with laptops in Surulere, Lagos Defection: President Buhari welcomes Femi Fani-Kayode to APC Lack of fice hinders women participation in politics – Emir 85, 265MT of LPG supplied nationwide in August – PPPRA African Development Bank’s SEFA provides $1 million to kick off modernization of Africa’s Hydropower Fleet DPR seals 11 illegal gas plants, 2 petrol stations in Abuja Africa faces 470m COVID-19 vaccine shortfall in 2021 – WHO Wada Maida’s daughter lauds FG for naming HQ after father Somali president withdraws PM’s powers in escalating row China fully vaccinates more than 1 billion people Angola’s National Oil, Gas and Biofuel’s Agency (ANPG) Highly Satisfied with Final Results from 2020 Bid Round Alert raised over quake surge around Canaries volcano Our chairman is hale, hearty – EFCC Putin to attend 2022 Beijing Olympics: minister In Dialogue with Eswatini, Committee on the Rights of the Child welcomes legislative progress and asks about child Health West Africa bloc ECOWAS meets over Guinea coup Meet Africa’s New Generation of Health Innovators Kenyans voice fury over fuel price hike Coronavirus: Africa faces 470 million COVID-19 vaccine shortfall in 2021 The International Organization for Migration is calling on Journalists to enter the inaugural West and Central Africa Migration Journalism Award 2021 Majority of fans favour more frequent men’s FIFA World Cups – global survey Short Stories on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by African Young People AMISOM conducts field inspection of ongoing Quick Impact Projects in Baidoa UNESCO steps up efforts for biodiversity conservation with the designation of 20 new biosphere reserves International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation signs ten high-level Trade Agreements representing more than US$1.2bn The Gambia Launches Ambitious Renewable Energy Projects (By Miguel Artacho) Biden backs top general on calls to China over Trump mental state Philippines’ Duterte will not cooperate with ICC drug war probe Pandemics: UK expert advises Nigerian leaders, others on collaborations At least 50 killed in Yemen clashes: military sources Ghana launches National Breastfeeding Week White House offers Nicki Minaj phone call after viral vaccine claims: reports New South Sudan Parliament can ‘infuse urgency’ into peace process Putin says dozens in Kremlin inner circle have Covid ‘Kill them’: Philippines’ Duterte wages war on drugs Indian peacekeepers in Malakal teach youth carpentry, welding, masonry and more Hapag-Lloyd inaugurates its own representation in Morocco Ugo Obasi joins Ingenico to drive new business in Nigeria and West Africa President of Egypt Receives Credentials of Qatari Ambassador United Nations Police (UNPOL) builds community policing capacities to bolster safety and security of residents on Tonj south Liquid Intelligent Technologies connects the Democratic Republic of Congo and Congo Brazzaville with high-speed connectivity using wireless optical communication technology Secretary-General of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Meets the Ethiopian Ambassador Envoy fears heightened abductions as Nigeria schools resume ECOWAS meets today to decide next step on Guinea DPR targets N3.2 trillion revenue by December 2021 I have no apologies saying Buhari has good heart – Umahi Nigeria to assist DR Congo to establish national fire service Chimamanda tasks German Chancellor Merkel on power deal FG says 25 % of diseases in Nigeria caused by mycotoxins – Minister