By Cecilia Ologunagba
New York, with reports from Conakry, Sept. 5, 2021
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday condemned the coup d’etat in Guinea and demanded the immediate release of President Alpha Condé.
According to reports, the fate of Guinea’s President, Condé, is unclear after an unverified video showed him surrounded by soldiers who said they had seized power.
They appeared on national TV claiming to have dissolved the government.
However, the defence ministry said the attempted takeover had been thwarted by the presidential guard.
This followed hours of heavy gunfire near the presidential palace in the capital, Conakry.
Guterres, in his twitter @antonioguterres strongly condemned the development.
“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,’’ the UN correspondent of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted Guterres as saying.
Similarly, African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have condemned the apparent coup and demanded the immediate release of President Condé.
In a statement on Sunday, ECOWAS described the action as a clear violation of the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, demanding the immediate return to constitutional order.
President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, who is also the Chair of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, said that ECOWAS demanded the immediate and unconditional release of President Alpha Condé as well as others arrested.
“ECOWAS reaffirms its disapproval of any unconstitutional political change.
“It asks the defense and security forces to remain in a posture Republican and expresses its solidarity with the Guinean people and Government,” Akufo-Addo stated.
The soldiers who staged the uprising had said on state television that they had dissolved the West African nation’s government and constitution and closed all land and air borders.
Conde, whose whereabouts were not immediately clear, won a third term in October after changing the constitution to allow him to stand again, despite violent protests from the opposition, raising concerns of further political upheavals in a region that has seen coups in Mali and Chad in recent months.