On October 20, 2022, in Guinea, a protest organized by the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC) took place. The protesters demanded the ruling military government (the National Committee of Reconciliation and Development, or CNRD) release political detainees and sought to establish a framework for a return to civilian rule. They were met with violent security forces, and in Guinea’s capital, Conakry, at least five people were injured and three died from gunshot wounds. The main violence was in Conakry’s commune of Ratoma, one of the poorest areas in the city. In September 2021, the CNRD, led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, overthrew the government of Alpha Condé, which had been in power for more than a decade and was steeped in corruption.
West Africa has just experienced its fourth attempted coup in just over a year, and seven coups over the last 13 years were carried out by African troops trained by the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). One was directly carried out by AFRICOM forces – Operation Odyssey Dawn against Libya in 2011, its first major military operation. On Sunday, September 5, 2021 soldiers detained Guinean President Alpha Condé and claimed control of the government. They suspended the constitution and closed all of the country’s borders. In a video recorded in the capital Conakry, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya of the Guinean Armed Forces (GAF) announced that the National Assembly had been dissolved.
Over a week after the coup in Guinea was orchestrated by a US-trained military unit, the military junta that seized power initiated a four-day-long conference with political parties, business leaders and traditional leaders on Tuesday, September 14. The stated reason for this conference is to reach an agreement on the duration and arrangements for the transitional period before civilian rule can be restored. It was clear from the outset that few of the main opposition parties sitting opposite the junta on the table were keen on pushing for a speedy transition to civilian rule. Smaller political parties reportedly did not get through the registration to attend the conference. “It’s very difficult to want to impose on (coup leader) Colonel (Mamady) Doumbouya a civilian president – but it would be desirable that the prime minister was a civilian...
On Sunday morning, Guinean special forces with links to US and French imperialism led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya launched a coup in the capital, Conakry, ousting President Alpha Condé and imposing martial law in the former French West African colony. The coup came amid mounting popular anger at fuel and food price hikes, bread shortages and tax increases as Guinea’s economy reels under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Condé’s attempt in 2019 to rewrite Guinea’s constitution to allow himself to hold on to power until 2032 had provoked mass protests. At around 8 a.m. Sunday, troops of the Groupement des forces spéciales (GFS) sealed off the Kaloum neighborhood of Conakry, where the Sekhoutoureah Presidential Palace is located.
On Sunday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the military coup against Guinea-Conakry's President Alpha Conde and called for his release. "I am personally following the situation in Guinea very closely. I strongly condemn any seizure of the government by force," Guterres warned. The coup leader, the Army Special Forces chief Mamady Doumbouya informed over the detention of Conde at the presidential palace on Sunday morning. He also announced the dissolution of the Constitution and State's institutions. Speaking on national TV, Doumbouya reported the creation of the "National Committee of Grouping and Development" to initiate a national consultation process towards a peaceful transition.
2019 had her fair share of protests from North, West, East and Southern Africa. The reasons for these protests were largely political, followed by economic and then demand for human rights in some instances not to forget issues of ethnic tensions and insecurity. The protests toppled two long serving presidents, Sudan’s Omar al Bashir and Algeria’s Abdul Aziz Bouteflika. Two dogged movements swept away a combine 50-years of presidential rule. We look back at how these protests were started, what they achieved and their current statuses.
By Staff of AFP - Conakry - Shops, banks and offices remained closed and streets empty of traffic in Guinea's capital and in other cities Monday, the first day of an open-ended general strike called by trade unions. Union leaders are demanding that prices of basic commodities and fuel be brought down by the government, while also pressing home pay claims. "The strike is being followed 100 percent," Louis Mbemba Soumah, general secretary of the Syndicated Union of Workers of Guinea (USTG), told AFP.