Africa’s regional and continental organisations have condemned the coup in Guinea and demanded a return to constitutional order.
In a statement on Sunday, African Union chairman President Félix Tshisekedi of DRC and the AU Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat condemned “any seizure of power by force” and called for the immediate release of President Alpha Conde.
“They invite the Peace and Security Council of the African Union to meet urgently to examine the new situation in Guinea and to take the appropriate measures in the circumstances,” the statement added.
The West Africa regional bloc Ecowas also condemned the “attempted coup” on Sunday, and demanded the release of President Condé and a return to constitutional order. It also threatened economic sanction.
The United Nations also condemned the coup. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he strongly condemned “any takeover of the government by force” and called for Conde’s immediate release.
Special forces soldiers led by Col. Mamady Doumbouya appeared on TV and declared they had tousted Guinea’s long-serving president, dissolution of government and suspension of the constitution.
The group is calling itself the National Rally and Development Committee (CNRD).
It has closed Guinea’s land and air borders and Doumbouya said poverty and endemic corruption driven his forces to remove President Conde from office.
International media reported heavy gunfire near the presidential palace in the capital, Conakry, on Sunday morning and hours later, videos shared on social media showed Conde under arrest surrounded by army special forces, while in other photos, he was bundled into a vehicle.
The US State Department issued a statement saying it condemned “the military seizure of power in Guinea.
The statement added that violence and any extra-constitutional measures would only erode Guinea’s prospects for peace, stability and prosperity.
“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,” the US said.
Some other top leaders in Conde’s government are also said to be under arrest.
Conde won a third term in October after changing the constitution to allow him to stand again, triggering violent protests from the opposition.