Control of state television airwaves in Guinea has been seized by an army colonel on Sunday. An announcement came over state media that the government of President Alpha Conde has been dissolved. This came hours after heavy gunfire was reported to have erupted near the presidential palace in the West African State. Mamadi Doumbouya, the Colonel who made the announcement did not mention the whereabouts of the President.
In his statement, the army officer said “The personalization of political life is over. “We will no longer entrust politics to one man, we will entrust it to the people,” He also said that land borders were now closed and the constitution has been dissolved.
The army colonel was said to have headed one of the special forces units in the military. In his broadcast message he said he was acting in the best interests of the nation, and according to him “The duty of a soldier is to save the country.”
The events in Guinea comes as neighboring state Sierra Leone grapples for a new direction albeit not the type of direction the current head of state Julius Maada Bio promised his people during the campaign for the 2018 presidential election. There is going to be a palpable effect on Sierra Leone with events unfolding in Guinea as the political similarities are strikingly close. Whether it’s through a military coup or through the ballot box, change is imperative and ultimately inevitable as political prisoners are detained without trial and the judiciary corrupt and unfit for purpose, and the integrity of the media compromised with inept editors at the helm.
Guinea’s history of coups over the years has seen a constant military intervention since the overthrow of Ahmed Sekou Tore who ruled the country with an iron fist only to be overthrown by another dictator who was also removed in a similar fashion.
The fact that Sierra Leone elected a notorious human rights abuser who has embezzled state funds and rendered the state un-governable may have created a recipe for another coup as the country braces itself for a new political challenge, something a foreign diplomat resident in the country calls inevitable.