Soldiers who staged an uprising in Guinea’s capital on Sunday said on state television they had dissolved the West African country’s government and constitution, closing all land and air borders.
However, the Defense Ministry said an attack on the presidential palace in Conakry had been repulsed.
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 Sunday afternoon that Reuters could not immediately verify showed President Alpha Conde in a room surrounded by special army troops.
Conde, whose whereabouts were not immediately clear, won a third term in October after amending the constitution to get him back on track despite violent opposition protests. in the past months.
Doumbouya appeared on state television, draped in the national flag of Guinea and surrounded by eight other armed soldiers, saying his supporters planned to form a transitional government and would provide more details later.
“We have dissolved the government and institutions,” Doumbouya said. “We call on our brothers in arms to join the people.”
When the Defense Department said security forces loyal to Conde had repulsed the attack and restored order, people took to the streets in the afternoon to celebrate the apparent success of the uprising.
A Reuters witness saw pickup trucks and military vehicles accompanied by motorcyclists and cheering spectators. ‘Guinea is free! Bravo,” a woman called from her balcony.
The Guinean government has drastically increased and increased taxes in recent weeks to replenish the state treasury. The fuel price has increased by 20%, which has led to frustration among many Guineans.
Videos shared on social media previously showed military vehicles patrolling the streets of Conakry, and a military source said the only bridge connecting the mainland with the Kaloum district, where the palace and most of the ministries are located, was closed.
Guinea has experienced sustained economic growth during Conde’s decade in power thanks to its bauxite, iron ore, gold and diamond riches, but few of its citizens have recognized its benefits.
Critics say the government has used restrictive criminal laws to discourage dissent, while ethnic divisions and endemic corruption have intensified political rivalries.
“While the president was everywhere proclaiming that he wanted to rule differently by rooting out corruption, the misappropriation of public funds increased. The newly rich harassed us,” Alassane Diallo, a resident of Conakry, told Reuters.
“All this made it easier for the military.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)