This Sunday, September 5, the population of Conakry woke up to confusion.
The international press reports that heavy gunfire is heard in the strategic district of Kaloum which houses the presidential palace.
Some well-established sources in the Guinean capital report a coup d’etat led by elements of the Groupement des forces Spéciales. Before specifying that President Alpha Condé would be safe.
The elite unit of the army which is said to be at the origin of this coup is led by a certain Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, identified as a former legionnaire of the French army who returned to the country in 2018.
A soldier described as a “hothead” because of his last tug of war with the Minister of Defense over his desire to be a part of the unit that he has led for four years.
According to the same sources established in the Malian capital, the “putschists” are currently facing the presidential bodyguards.
Alpha Condé thus faces his umpteenth coup attempt. Since his re-election in 2020, for a third term, he has faced permanent instability on the political, social and security levels.
According to the BBC,
The fate of Guinea’s President Alpha Condé is unclear after an unverified video showed him in the hands of soldiers, who said they had staged a coup.
However, the defence minister has been quoted as saying the attempted takeover had been thwarted.
This follows hours of heavy gunfire near the presidential palace in the capital, Conakry.
Soldiers are patrolling the otherwise deserted streets of the city centre.
Terrified residents of the central Kaloum district have heeded their orders to stay at home.
In the video, the soldiers from a unit of elite special forces ask President Condé to confirm he is unharmed but he refuses to respond.
They say that all land and air borders have been closed and the government dissolved.
The only bridge connecting the mainland to the Kaloum peninsular, which houses most ministries and the presidential palace, has been sealed off and many soldiers, some heavily armed, have been posted around the palace, a military source told Reuters news agency.
There are unconfirmed reports that three soldiers have been killed.
President Condé was re-elected for a controversial third term in office amid violent protests last year.