Senin, 06 September 2021

Guinea junta stands by business commitments, vows 'union' government -

The colonel behind a putsch in Guinea promised investors on Monday that business deals would not be affected by the country's latest coup and vowed to form a "government of national union" to oversee a political transition.

In a speech the day after his men arrested the 83-year-old president, opening a new chapter in Guinea's long history of turmoil, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya also declared there would be no "witch hunt" against members of the former government.

Guinea will "uphold all its undertakings (and) mining agreements," he promised, stressing "its commitment to give favourable treatment to foreign investment in the country."

He also said "a consultation" would be launched that would "set down the broad parameters" of political transition.

On Sunday, Doumbouya's special forces arrested President Alpha Conde, a former champion of democracy facing mounting anger for sidestepping constitutional limits on presidential tenure.

Public discontent had been brewing for months over a flatlining Covid-hit economy and the leadership of Conde, who became Guinea's first democratically elected president in 2010.

Doumbouya appeared on public television on Sunday draped in the national flag, accusing the government of "endemic corruption" and the "trampling of citizens' rights".

A video sent to AFP by the putschists on Sunday showed Conde sitting on a sofa surrounded by troops. 

- Troubled nation -

It has rarely known stability since declaring independence from France in 1958, and bloody repression is entrenched.

Dozens of people were killed during demonstrations against his bid for a third term and hundreds more were arrested.

The latest turbulence erupted on Sunday morning, when gunfire broke out in the centre of Conakry. For several hours, the situation was unclear, as the government said an attack on the presidential palace had been "repulsed".

The end of Conde's regime triggered jubilation in some parts of Conakry, especially in pro-opposition districts.

Conakry, usually a bustling city, awoke in calm on Monday and many shops were closed.

Hundreds of people clutched onto the railings, many of them shouting "freedom, freedom" and "long live the army".

Outside Guinea, international leaders condemned the latest bout of turmoil in a region where many countries are struggling with poverty, inequality and jihadist bloodshed.

The African Union and the United Nations both called for Conde's release.

The EU and France, the former colonial power, have both condemned the coup -- the latest in a region that has seen recent military takeovers in Mali and Chad. 


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2021-09-06 14:15:00Z

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