The Chronicle Gambia

Guinea – The Junta, yet Evasive, Promises a Government of “National Unity”

Members of Guinea's armed forces celebrate after the arrest of Guinea's president, Alpha Conde, in a coup d'etat in Conakry on September 5, 2021. - Guinean special forces seized power in a coup on September 5, arresting the president and imposing an indefinite curfew in the poor west African country. "We have decided, after having taken the president, to dissolve the constitution," said a uniformed officer flanked by soldiers toting assault rifles in a video sent to AFP. (Photo by CELLOU BINANI / AFP)

The Guinean putschists who captured and deposed President Alpha Condé on Sunday were to clarify their political intentions today.

In the aftermath of President Condé’s arrest, Guinea Conakry is still awaiting clarification on the political roadmap of the coup plotters. However, imprisoned political opponents could be released very soon.

Led by Lieutenant-Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, the commander of the Special Forces Group (GPS), the soldiers summoned the outgoing ministers and heads of institutions to a meeting at 11 a.m. GMT today at the “People’s Palace,” the Parliament.

According to RFI, a crowd cheered Mamady Doumbouya when he arrived at the “People’s Palace.” The meeting was aired outside the building over loudspeakers and began with a minute’s silence in memory of the victims of the Alpha Condé regime.

During the meeting, the junta leader promised the establishment of a “government of national unity” responsible for leading a period of political “transition” and assured that there would be no “witch-hunting” on officials of the Condé regime. But on Sunday, coup leader Mamady Doumbouya announced a travel ban for Guinean government officials until further notice. They must also hand over their official vehicles to the army.

A consultation will be opened to describe the main lines of the transition, then a government of national unity will be set up to lead the transition,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Mamady Doumbouya in a speech that did not specify the duration of the consultations or the transition.

The junta announced a curfew and the replacement of ministers by the secretaries-general of each ministry and the prefects, sub-prefects, and regional governors by soldiers. The Constitution is still suspended. The soldiers also called on officials to “resume work on Monday.”

This Monday, according to MediaGuinée, a dozen political opponents of Alpha Condé, who had been detained since the president’s disputed re-election in October 2020, were to be released, including Étienne Soropogui and Abdoulaye Bah, two prominent Guinean figures.

On national television, the army spokesman said that the land and air borders had been reopened for trade and humanitarian exchanges.

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