The African Union (AU) bloc condemned on Sunday a military takeover in Guinea and demanded the immediate liberation of President Alpha Conde.
A statement by AU chairman and Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi and AU Commission head Moussa Faki Mahamat called on the body’s Peace and Security Council to meet urgently to examine the situation and take appropriate measures.
Special forces soldiers apparently ousted the long-serving Conde on Sunday, saying they had dissolved Guinea’s government and constitution and closed its land and air borders.
As the United Nations and Nigeria, the region’s dominant power, condemned any takeover by force, the elite army unit’s head, Mamady Doumbouya, said “poverty and endemic corruption” had driven his forces to remove Conde from office.
“We have dissolved government and institutions,” Doumbouya said on state television, draped in Guinea’s national flag and surrounded by eight other armed soldiers.
“We are going to rewrite a constitution together.”
Gunfire erupted and fighting broke out near the presidential palace in the capital, Conakry, on Sunday morning. Hours later, videos shared on social media, which Reuters could not immediately authenticate, showed Conde in a room surrounded by army special forces.