Sept 6 (Al Jazeera) – Soldiers who staged an uprising in Guinea’s capital have announced a nationwide curfew “until further notice” and the replacement of regional governors by the military, just hours after they said they had dissolved the constitution and the government.
The Guinean defence ministry said an attack by mutinous special forces on the presidential palace had been repelled, but it was not fully clear by Sunday evening who held power in the West African nation.
Earlier in the day, unverified videos shared on social media appeared to show President Alpha Conde surrounded by soldiers. His whereabouts were unclear.
This followed earlier reports of heavy gunfire in Conakry near the presidential palace though it also was unclear who was responsible.
The events drew concern and condemnation from regional and international observers, including United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who said he strongly condemned “any takeover of the government by force” and called for Conde’s immediate release.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) threatened to impose sanctions after what its chairman, Ghana’s President Nana Akuffo-Addo, called an attempted coup, while the African Union said it would meet urgently and take “appropriate measures”.
The United States said violence and any extra-constitutional measures would only erode Guinea’s prospects for peace, stability and prosperity.
“The United States condemns today’s events in Conakry,” the State Department said in a statement. “These actions could limit the ability of the United States and Guinea’s other international partners to support the country as it navigates a path toward national unity and a brighter future for the Guinean people.”