The End of an Era - President Alpha Conde (December 2010 - September 2021)

Published on 06 Sep, 2021.

The President of Guinea Alpha Conde has been placed under house arrest following a coup d’etat Sunday ( 05.09.21). Special forces of the Armed Forces led by Col. Mamadi Doumbouya ( PSB) seized control and broadcast on state TV a brief statement. Increasing socio-economic conditions in Guinea compounded by recent constitutional amendments ( 3rd term March 2020), saw a wave of growing discontentment towards the Conde administration. Military intervention was a specific treat flowing announcement of reduced pay and conditions for civil servants and armed forces. Afrobarometer’s survey indicated that 82% of the population opposed the 82-year old’s mandate and it has generally been greeted by muted and mixed sentiment in the capital Conakry

A onetime imprisoned opposition figure Conde, like his predecessors, turned away from democratic norms and showed a more authoritarian style increasingly been seen throughout the region as democratic governance is increasingly in a fragile state and under threat. Arrangements to form a transitional government are being proposed by ECOWAS as the Junta have closed borders for one week and seized local media. The transitional government was led by Lt. Col Mamady Doumbouya, who has risen from a corporal to a colonel in 4 years under Conde instruction. The leaders of the coup met with the members of the ousted cabinet this morning at —11am. The outcome of the meeting mandates erstwhile state officials not to leave the country without authorization. All government vehicles are to be surrendered. The secretary’s generals of Guinea’s ministries have been ordered by the military leaders to take over the role as ministers. Governors of the respective regions are expected to be replaced by regional commanders. It is unclear the possible make-up of the transitional government and how long (duration) the transitional government will be in power. Further details of a possible transitional government are expected to be ironed out during the discussions between the military leadership and the international community led by the ECOWAS. Meanwhile, Accra is busy deciding on the current situation in Guinea. It is expected that heads of ECOWAS states will discuss today (06.09.21) with the following tabled;

  • Creation of a transitional government
  • Electing a special envoy to Guinea for political mediation
  • Safety and release of President Alpha Conde
  • Imposing restrictions on Guinea

We do not expect to see spillover on the broader sub-region. Countries that share a border with Guinea will feel the impact most with regional trade and the movement of people affected. Closing of borders and the heavy presence of the military, travellers will have movement into Guinea restricted. There are reports of stranded goods at one of Liberia’s key revenue-generating ports of entry at Ganta which generates approximately $150,000 monthly. The coup will affect major mining activities in the short term. This follows the junta’s comment on upholding the economic, mining commitments of Guinea.

Serious security concerns in the short term are limited and restricted to the movement of people and medical emergency response. No resistance from the former government, military personnel loyal to President Conde or the general public is envisaged. The coup leaders have also ordered former cabinet ministers to handover all government assets. Ministers have also been banned to leave the country as the military has requested for passports of the member of the former government. Borders have been opened for transnational activities but curfew hours remain. The coup has taken a more inclusive notion of citizenship than ethnicity as seen in previous governments. A long-term transition will change this and it appears the coup leaders are aware with open dialogue already happening with international bodies.

Profile of Lt. Col Mamady Doumbouya

Col. Mamady is a native of the Kankan region in the east of Guinea—an area close to the Ivorian and Mali border. He is a member of the Malinke community, an ethnic group that forms approximately 29.4% of the population.

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Col. Doumbouya is a talented opportunist having risen from a corporal to full Coronel from 2017-2021. We are doubtful of reports that he infact is a graduate of the Ecole de Guerre in Paris and despite having 15 years of military experience with operations Cote d’ Ivoire, Afghanistan, Djibouti and the Central African Republic it is unlikely he is an accomplished officer. He has attended US and France led defence management, strategy and command courses and also trained at International Security Academy, Israel. Reportedly experienced in counterterrorism operations he served under the army’s Bureau of Territorial Surveillance.

Lt. Col. Doumbouya has served as a member of the French Foreign Legion before being appointed as the commander of the SFG—a Guinean Special Forces Unit by former president Alpha Conde.

During his time with Conda the 41-year-old has been cited by the international community along with 25 others for violating human rights by the European Union.

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