Guinea: US condemns Conakry coup as military imposes nationwide curfew

Military representatives say President Alpha Conde is in custody and has not been harmed

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The US has condemned the apparent coup in the Guinean capital of Conakry, where special forces soldiers appeared to oust the country's president on Sunday.

“The United States condemns today's events in Conakry. 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 towards national unity and a brighter future for the Guinean people," the US State Department said.

The soldiers who seized power announced on state TV that President Alpha Conde has not been harmed.

“We want to reassure the national and international community that the physical and moral integrity of the former president are not compromised,” said a representative of the soldiers, who call themselves the National Committee for Rally and Development.

“All measures to ensure that he [Mr Conde] has access to health care. Also, that he is in contact with his doctors.”

His whereabouts were unknown for hours after intense fighting broke out in the centre of the capital Conakry.

A video later emerged that appeared to show Mr Conde, 83, in military custody.

The soldiers have not said when he will be released.

“Everything will be fine. When the time comes, we will issue a statement," it said.

The soldiers in the West African country detained Mr Conde after hours of heavy gunfire rang out near the presidential palace in Conakry.

They announced on state TV that the government had been dissolved in an apparent coup.

Guinean President Alpha Conde delivers a speech in Boulouris, France, on August 15, 2019 during a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the Allied landings in Provence in the Second World War. Reuters

The soldiers said a nationwide curfew would be in effect from 8pm local time “until further notice”.

They invited “outgoing ministers and former presidents of institutions … to a meeting tomorrow".

Declining to attend the talks would be “considered a rebellion” against the new military leaders, they said.

The soldiers also announced plans to replace Guinea's governors and mayors with regional commanders.

Mr Conde, in power for more than a decade, had been increasingly unpopular since he sought a third term last year, saying term limits did not apply to him.

Sunday's events have highlighted how dissent had also been mounting within the military.

Updated: September 06, 2021, 9:40 AM