Guinean Soldiers Claim to Seize Power in Coup Attempt

An elite national army unit announced that it has seized power in an attempted coup in Guinea on Sept. 5.

A Guinean military officer announced in a brief address on national broadcaster Radio Television Guinea that they have dissolved the government and arrested Guinean President Alpha Conde in an apparent coup.

A video appeared to show Conde surrounded by soldiers.

“We will no longer entrust politics to a man. We will entrust it to the people. We come only for that; it is the duty of a soldier, to save the country,” Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya said, according to CNN.

Doumbouya cited corruption, government “mismanagement,” and poverty as the reason for staging the coup.

Doumbouya said that there would be consultations to create a new, more inclusive government and an 18-month transition period.

All land and air borders would be closed for the week and a nationwide curfew will take place “until further notice,” Doumbouya also announced.

The announcement came after heavy gunfire was heard near the presidential palace in the capital Conakry earlier in the morning.

In a statement, the African Union (AU) condemned “any seizure of power by force” and called for Conde’s immediate release.

The statement also said that the AU Peace and Security Council will meet “urgently” to examine the situation in Guinea and to take appropriate measures in response.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres also condemned the coup.

“I am personally following the situation in Guinea very closely. I strongly condemn any takeover of the government by force of the gun and call for the immediate release of President Alpha Conde,” Guterres said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, videos circulating online showed civilians took to the streets and cheered as troops moved through Conakry after the announcement.

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