Conakry, Guinea | Xinhua | International organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), as well as some governments condemned the military coup in Guinea on Sunday and called for release of the country’s president.
Earlier on Sunday, heavy gunfire was heard in the urban commune of Kaloum, downtown Conakry, in Guinea, where the Presidential Palace and several ministerial departments are located.
In the afternoon, Guinea’s Defense Ministry said in an official press release that “the Presidential Guard, supported by the defense and security forces, contained the threat and pushed back the group of insurgents.”
However, later in the day, Lieutenant-Colonel Mamady Doumbouya announced on national television that his forces have arrested President Alpha Conde, and dissolved the government and national institutions.
The country’s borders were closed and its constitution was declared invalid in the announcement.
A video posted on social media showed that Conde was surrounded by a group of armed soldiers, but the capturing time and place of the video remain unclear.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the European Union, the AU and ECOWAS all condemned the coup in Guinea on Sunday and demanded that the rebels release Conde.
Guterres posted on twitter that, “I am personally following the situation in Guinea very closely. I strongly condemn any takeover of the government by force of the gun and call for the immediate release of President Alpha Conde.”
The 55-member AU also called for an immediate release of Conde in a statement.
Felix Tshisekedi, president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who is also the current AU chairperson, and Moussa Faki Mahamat, the AU Commission chairperson, further called on the AU Peace and Security Council to meet urgently to examine the new situation in Guinea and to take appropriate measures in the circumstances.
“ECOWAS decidedly condemns this attempted coup d’etat that happened on Sunday,” the community said in a statement, demanding the safe release of President Conde and other detained people.
“ECOWAS also demands restoration of the constitutional order in Guinea in order to avoid using sanctions,” ECOWAS said.
The Nigerian government on Sunday condemned the takeover of power by force in Guinea. “The government of Nigeria strongly condemns and rejects any unconstitutional change of government and therefore calls on those behind this coup to restore constitutional order without delay and protect all lives and property,” Nigerian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Esther Sunsawan said.
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell condemned in a tweet the coup in Guinea, calling on the rebels to release President Conde.
In a statement, U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price also condemned the seizure of power by the military in Guinea, urging all parties to avoid violence and engage in dialogue.