Sierra Leone Telegraph: 6 September 2021:
There is much uncertainty across Guinea Conakry today as the dust begins to settle, following yesterday’s military coup which saw 83-year-old president Conde ousted from office at gunpoint. The military has ordered ministers and heads of government departments and agencies to a meeting to discuss the new dispensation, after declaring they are going to scrap the constitution.
Troops led by Lieutenant-colonel Mamady Doumbouya (Photo) summoned ministers and departmental heads to meet at 1100 GMT today in the country’s parliament – “Any refusal to attend will be considered a rebellion,” he warned.
Doumbouya promised to launch a “national consultation to open an inclusive and calm transition”. He also told Guineans that land and air borders have been closed, the government dissolved, and top governors and other senior administrators have been replaced by the military.
Doumbouya appeared on public television yesterday after toppling Conde, draped in the Guinean flag, accusing the government of “endemic corruption” and “trampling of citizens’ rights”.
“We are no longer going to entrust politics to one man, we are going to entrust politics to the people,” he said.
“Guinea is beautiful. We don’t need to rape Guinea anymore, we just need to make love to her.”
Opposition leaders have yet to react to the coup, although an umbrella group called the FNDC, which led the campaign against Conde’s constitutional changes, said it had taken note of the “arrest of the dictator”.
Outside Guinea, international leaders have expressed condemnation of the latest coup in West Africa, a region where many countries are struggling with poverty, inequality and poor governance.
“Violence and any extra-constitutional measures will only erode Guinea’s prospects for peace, stability, and prosperity,” US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said, urging all parties to abide by the rule of law.
The African Union and the United Nations both called for Conde’s release; and the EU and France – the former colonial power, have both condemned the coup.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), through its acting president, Ghana’s leader Nana Akufo-Addo, threatened sanctions if Guinea’s constitutional order was not restored. This is what the ECOWAS statement says:
“ECOWAS notes with great concern the recent political developments which have occurred in Conakry, capital of the Republic of Guinea. ECOWAS condemns unreservedly the attempted coup of Sunday, September 5, 2021.
“ECOWAS demands respect for the physical safety of the President of the Republic, Professor Alpha Condé, and his immediate and unconditional release, as well as that of all arrested persons. ECOWAS also demands a return to constitutional order on pain of sanctions.
“ECOWAS reaffirms its objection to any unconstitutional political change. We ask the Guinean defense and security forces to remain in a constitutional posture and express our solidarity with the Guinean people and their Government.
“Done in Accra, Sunday, September 5, 2021 – H.E.M. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana and Current Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority.”
Lieutenant-colonel Mamady Doumbouya and his soldiers are yet to respond to the ECOWAS statement.
I hope passengers travelling through the airport in Conakry (transit or otherwise) are now treated with respect. During the civil war in Sierra Leone we had no choice but to travel in decrepit, rickety planes to Conakry (with God on our side), only to be faced by unscrupulous, ruthless airport officials in Conakry who were a disgrace to their country. I cannot describe or elaborate on what I and many others experienced.
Read this statement from ECOWAS – “ECOWAS reaffirms its objection to any unconstitutional political change. We ask the Guinean defense and security forces to remain in a constitutional posture and express our solidarity with the Guinean people and their Government.” ECOWAS hasn’t got much leverage on the Guinean military. Unlike Mali, Guinea is not a landlocked country, so you can’t pressure its neighbours on any sanctions. Also, Guinea is not a member of the West African currency union. More important, the Guinean military is powerful. They have huge and mighty military officers who have fishes eyes. They can see you at 360 degrees in all directions and meters away. They have one of the best and strongest military armadas in west Africa. See how gallant Lieutenant-colonel Mamady Doumbouya looks in that picture. The Guinean military has loads of well trained and qualified military officers like the gallant Lieutenant-colonel Mamady Doumbouya the great.
Sending an ECOWAS force into Guinea to remove the Guinean Special Forces commandos from power will be a disaster for ECOWAS. For now, ECOWAS should keep barking. Where was ECOWAS when Professor Alpha Conde was bastardising the constitution to legalise the third term in his own making? Terrible double standards entity. ECOWAS needs reform to meet the challenges like the coup d’etat in Guinea staged by officers of the “Commandement des forces spéciales de la Guinee”.
Count me out, Lieutenant-colonel Mamady Doumbouya, in supporting you for your actions. I will never support anyone who takes power by force. Anyway, I note your efforts and will give you breathing space to honour the contents in your declarations. I’m perturbed because you did not mention any exit date from power. Nonetheless, thank you very much for assuring the mining sector and business people to help the population. Nice. Also, none of the politicians, including the former president, were killed or brutalised during and after the takeover. Well done. Would you mind doing all that you can to maintain stability in Guinea? A destabilised Guinea will be a destabilised Sierra Leone. There will be no hiding place if that happens. God bless Guinea and the Guinean people.
Is the Ivory Coast Next? In that country, we have another greedy man who is also above 70 and yet force himself to run for a third term. Let the case wam. Madam Fatima Bio, I hope you have your emergency kits ready!!!
This is a tragedy of biblical proportion. The issues we have in Guinea is a direct consequence of the inability of the African union, ECOWAS and insututions in Guinea to follow the letters of the laws that we all agreed on. The double sword approach by the African union and ECOWAS, to implement the standard principles and protocols on the consequences of changing constitution, or military take overs have given succour to many will be power hungry politicians, and military personnel the green light to interfere with their country’s constitution. The rules that apply pressure on countries that found themselves in political upheavals has not always been straightforward or even handed . When the long term Chadian leader was killed, Idris Debby, the constitution states the speaker of Chad’s Parliament should be the interim president until fresh election are conducted. But his 34 year General son in the Chadian army was allowed to succeed him. And not long after Mamat Deby in military uniform was wellcome by President Buhari in Abuja.
So where was the AU and ECOWAS? Did they condems the power grabb by Mr. Deby. No. The fact that Mr Deby appeared with Buhari in military uniform, might have given the Malian military coup leader Col. Assimi Goita, an idea to stage his own coup.That after all it is an acceptable behaviour. Given Nigeria has been at the forefront led by former president Goodluck Jonathan encouraging the military to hand over to a civilian government. But Mali’s military leaders were were not stupid. They look at those pictures of Buhari and Mamat Deby they rightly felt they have been treated differently. Soon Nigeria and other ECOWAS members were threatened economic sanctions for the military take over. Now we don’t know whether the Guinean military leaders will get the red carpet treatment or not. Same with the Gambia at the ouster of Yayah Jammeh. Buhari and Makay SaLL of Senegal, asked him to leave for the good of the Gambia.
Right now the way the rules on suspension from the ECOWAS and AU of any country that adopte undemocratic means, is applied, is hard to know which way the wrath of this African organisations will fall. What we need is consistency in the application of the rules. Then military coups will be a thing of the past.And hold civilian government that over step there mark to account. Failing which it will always be the same old, same old.
Was ECOWAS sleeping, when Alpha Conde illegally and unconstitutionally contested third term Presidential elections and became the President at the age of 88 years?? His motive was to remain President for life.
‘Guinea is beautiful. We don’t need to rape Guinea anymore, we just need to make love to her’. These are very interesting, not to say intriguing, words indeed. A lyrical outburst you would perhaps not expect from a man of action and a colossus by any physical measure to boot. Colonel Mamady Doumbouya: a gentle giant then? A loving, caring soul behind a steely, soldierly exterior? Yet for all the sweetness, softeness and gentleness it conveys, Colonel Doumbouya’s lyricism betrays rather ironically a macho, indeed masculinist, world view that is quite in keeping with his imposing build and militarism!
Guinea: a beautiful woman to make love to after subduing her by force of arms! Is that not rape? Does the colonel not realise that he has just violently possessed his beautiful Guinea? Has she not then become a war booty; a juicy trophy in the predatory clutches of a military strongman who will now consume her as he pleases? Remember that other military strongman, Lansana Conte, who came ostensibly to undo the ravages wrought on Guinea by Sekou Toure’s sanguinary regime. Conte ended up doing further damage to the country.
The re-emergence of military juntas on the political landscape of the volatile ECOWAS region is damning and totally unsupportive of economic progress that has eluded the countries in this region, post-colonial rule. West Africa is easily the most restless and least developed region on the continent, prone to violent military coups, rebel wars, Ebola, Covi-19 pandemic, etc.
You name a development-destroying curse, West Africa’s got it.
Worst still, is the continued interference by unprofessional men in uniform who see their time in the military as an opportunity to enrich themselves. Coming originally from economically poor heritage and unable to acquire the educational credentials necessary for personal and professional growth, they enrol into the army and bide their time for a shot at political gangsterism that loot the national treasury. No wonder then that African economic development has and will continue to lag behind the rest of the world. This recent coup in Guinea is another set-back for a country rich in minerals, but has laboured under successive regimes that brought little improvement in the lives of the citizenry, more than 50 years after the French departed Conakry.
“ECOWAS notes and with great concern the recent political developments which have occurred in Conakry, capital of the Republic of Guinea. ECOWAS condemns unreservedly the attempted coup of Sunday 5,2021″ So let’s be clear, none of the leadership of ECOWAS that are sprouting this statement of grandstanding condemnations, have experienced living under a corrupt, and out of control dictatorship that targets political opponents, real or imagine . And muzzled the free press and tossed their political opponents into a gulag. And undermine the rule of law. And corruption becomes the chief occupation of the so called elected public officials. Then the ECOWAS statement went on spilling more bile, to the effect.” ECOWAS reaffirm its objections to any unconstitutional political change. “Sorry ECOWAS the horses have already blotted.
You should have made a similar statement when in December 2020 then President Alpha Conde, amended the Guinean constitution from his two terms he was entitled for a third term, further giving himself more time to wreak the economy of Guinea. And in the process condemn a whole generation of Youths to police brutality, deaths by state security forces, and above all else condemning millions of Guinean to abject poverty and youth unemployment. The ECOWAS mission statement in 2020 should have been, “ECOWAS notes with great concern the political developments that is about to take place under the leadership of his Excellency President Alpha Conde. ECOWAS reaffirm its objections to amend the unconstitutional political change your excellency is about to under take to give himself a third term, in violation of the constitutional order. That is running for a third term in office. And ECOWAS note with great regret president Alpha Conde is threatening a fellow member state over a historical land dispute that was sized by Guinean forces at Yenga during Sierra leone, a sister country’s RUF civil war. And more recently president Conde have provoked Sierra Leone by accusing the vice president of Sierra Leone, Juldeh Jalloh of election meddling .
This action by the Guinean government is highly regrettable and ECOWAS stands full square with the government of Sierra Leone to defend their territorial integrity. “Did we note any serious condemnations of Alpha Conde, from ECOWAS when all those events were unfolding in front of them.?That is the hypocrisy of this West African body we have grown used to. Selective justice. One rule for them and one rule for the rest of us.
To all those pretentious international bodies, calling for a return to constitutional order in Guinea, please answer this; was it democratic for a single corrupt greedy man, to bastardize the Guinean constitution, and eventually imposed himself against the people’s will? Where you then when this same man was terrorizing and killing innocent people for his own personal selfish goals? Just observe the sheer hypocrisy coming out of these out of touch international governance institutions, run and manage by the same corrupt, greedy African leaders.
Here is something for you all selfish, corrupt leaders in Africa to remember. Democracy is define as a government of the people, for the people, and by the people, not a single greedy tyrant. So if the people of Guinea, through the help of their patriotic gallant soldiers have taken back what belongs to them, you either support them or shut up. This should serve as a lesson to all you wannabe tyrants. Keep thinking you are invincible. Karma will surely catches up with you. Bravo and congrats to the suffering people of the nation of Guinea.