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Guinea military officials say they have detained the president and taken control of the country

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Guinea military officials say they have detained the president and taken control of the country

CONAKRY, Guinea — Infantrymen have detained the president of Guinea, the head of the nation’s special forces acknowledged Sunday, adding another doable coup d’etat to a lengthy historical past of military takeovers.

Col. Mamady Doumbouya acknowledged President Alpha Condé was in custody following hours of gunfire in Conakry, the capital of this West African nation, and warnings for folks to switch home.

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“In case you stumble on the suppose of our roads, of our hospitals it’s time for us to fetch up,” Doumbouya acknowledged on suppose television.

With Guinea’s red, yellow and inexperienced flag draped on his shoulders, the colonel pledged to forge a transition authorities that is now not damage the nation but “fetch cherish” to it.

Infantrymen flooded the streets of Conakry, blockading key roads. Confusion abounded earlier than Doumbouya released a video on social media, citing “the trampling of the rights of voters” and “the disrespect of democratic principles” as motivations for the overthrow.

Condé, 83, took office 11 years in the past in the country’s first democratic election since independence from France in 1958. He vowed to lead the nation of roughly 13 million out of a convention of corruption that had formed decades of authoritarian rule whereas blunting pattern.

However Condé sparked lethal riots closing tumble after he sought a third term in what critics blasted as defiance of Guinea’s constitution. He argued that changes in the regulation under his tenure, engineered by his authorities, had reset the clock on his allowed amount of terms.

On Sunday, photos and video circulating on WhatsApp showed the president flanked by men in military fatigues. One requested: “Excellency, have we touched a single hair of yours?” A silent Condé, wearing jeans and a tie-dyed costume shirt, didn’t acknowledge and saved his stumble on from the digicam.

The president’s detention roused hypothesis that the army was offended after parliament moved to fatten the salaries of politicians closing week whereas slashing the rate range for security forces.

U.N. Secretary Total António Guterres condemned “any takeover of the authorities by force of the gun.” In a tweet, Guterres known as for “the instant launch of President Alpha Conde.”

Native media reported that several troopers and the president’s bodyguards died in the clashes.

By noon, video photos from Conakry captured folk cheering as vehicles carrying troops rumbled down the streets. “Bravo!” some onlookers shouted. “Bravo! It’s done!”

“It’s a disappointment, a sense of failure,” acknowledged Mamady Kaba, president of the League for Rights and Democracy in Africa in the capital.

Regardless of Guinea’s enormous natural riches, nearly half the inhabitants lives in poverty. The country boasts the world’s finest reserves of bauxite, the main offer of aluminum for vehicles, beer cans and foil wrap.

Condé lower flashy offers with foreign firms to style Guinea right into a prime bauxite exporter. Critics say he has didn’t piece the wealth with the folk and ruined land in the process. Rain turns roads all the plan thru the countryside into sludge, Guineans say, and hospitals objective in disrepair.

“We hope this would possibly perhaps be a brand original originate,” Kaba acknowledged. “We hope for institutional reform.”

It was unclear the attach the troops had been conserving Condé. His office made no statements, and authorities officials didn’t acknowledge to requests for observation.

Doumbouya, a dilapidated French legionnaire who has led Guinea’s special forces since 2018, furthermore participated in a U.S. coaching two years in the past in Mauritania. He praised the “sharing abilities” in a 2019 interview. (The United States leads an annual exercise in the space centered on combating terrorism.)

Guinea’s military closing grabbed vitality in 2008 after the loss of life of President Lansana Conté, the country’s 2d leader in the submit-colonial era — an army officer who had led the country with an authoritarian fist since the mid-1980s.

Conté himself seized control in a coup backed by Guinea’s troops.

Paquette reported from Dakar, Senegal. Borso Unparalleled in Dakar contributed to this story.

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Guinea military officials say they have detained the president and taken control of the country