Guinea’s Coup D’etat Further Destabilizes The Country
President Alpha Conde of Guinea in West Africa was deposed in Sunday’s coup d’etat which left the country reeling from heavy gunfire in Conakry around the presidential palace. There shortly followed an announcement on state television that the 83-year-old president was out and that the government had been dissolved in an apparent coup d’etat. Leading the military takeover was Col. Mamadi Doumbouya, who said aloud on television: “The duty of a soldier is to save the country. We will no longer entrust politics to one man. We will entrust it to the people.” The announcement was met with mixed reactions. Most governments, including the U.S., disapprove of any military junta that takes control of the government by gunfire. However, some local Guineans expressed relief, hoping that the long-promised economic relief would come for the many citizens, most of which live in poverty.
President Conde had recently defied the two-year term limit to run again for president. Guinea has a wealth of natural resources, but state-wide corruption has not seen any of the profits trickle down to the people. Reports of Conde’s corruption and misuse of funds from this resource-rich country have been ongoing for decades. Conde’s whereabouts and wellbeing were unknown until a video appeared showing the 83-year-old tired and disheveled in military custody.
Doumbouya on television said, “If you see the state of our roads if you see the state of our hospitals, you realize that after 72 years, it’s time to wake up. We have to wake up.” Little improvement has occurred since Guinea gained its independence from France. The CFA franc was created in the 1940s to use as legal tender in its then French colonies. Guinea, however, is one of the rare former French colonies to have its own currency. But, it still faces regular currency shortages and its central bank struggles to ensure its stability. In recent years many Guineans have fled to neighboring countries seeking a better life. Malick Diallo, a young Guinean shopkeeper in Dakar said, “ We know that a coup d’etat is not good. A president must be elected by democratic vote. But we have no choice. We have a president who is too old, who no longer makes Guineans dream, and who does not want to leave power.”
85 percent of the population in Guinea is Muslim, 8 percent Christian, and 7 percent adheres to indigenous religious beliefs.