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20 Feb, 2024 13:07

Coup leaders dissolve government in African state

There was no explanation given for the action, but authorities have said a new administration would be installed
Coup leaders dissolve government in African state

Guinea’s military rulers have dissolved the West African nation’s government, which had been in power since July 2022. The presidency’s spokesman, General Amara Camara, announced the decision on Monday without providing any specific reasons.

The presidential decree, read by General Camara in a pre-recorded video published on social media, said a new government would be installed but did not specify when that would happen.

“The government is dissolved... The management of current affairs will be ensured by the directors of cabinet, the secretaries general, and the deputy secretaries general until the establishment of a new government,” he said in the presence of around 20 uniformed soldiers.

Guinea has been under military rule since September 2021, when soldiers overthrew President Alpha Conde, who had ruled for more than a decade. Conde’s election in 2010 marked the country’s first democratic transfer of power since its independence from France in 1958.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has demanded that the coup leaders in Conakry, as well as those in power in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger, hold elections within a reasonable timeframe and restore democratic order.

Colonel Mady Doumbouya, the interim president of the former French colony, agreed to return Conakry to civilian rule by the end of 2024 after facing sanctions over an initial three-year transfer of power. The military leadership has claimed that the transition period would allow it to implement major reforms in the poor but mineral-rich country.

In a separate statement posted on X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday, the presidency ordered members of the dissolved government to return state property, including vehicles and travel documents “without delay.”

“The High Commander of the Gendarmerie and the Director General of the Police are responsible for taking all measures to put buffers in all departments until the temporary workers are fully taken over,” announced Ibrahima Sory Bangoura, chief of staff and general of the Armed Forces of the Guinean Transitional Government.

ECOWAS, which has been embroiled in disputes with military rulers in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger, has yet to issue an official statement on Guinea’s unexpected government dissolution. The three former French colonies have served notices to withdraw from the bloc, citing harsh sanctions imposed in response to coups in their respective countries. They accuse the 15-nation regional authority of being a tool for foreign powers. The bloc is also dealing with political unrest in Senegal, where a surprise postponement of presidential elections has sparked deadly protests in recent weeks.