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CrisisWatch Guinea

Deteriorated Situation

Military coup against President Condé opened period of great uncertainty. Special forces 5 Sept captured Condé after brief skirmishes in capital Conakry’s govt district; fighting reportedly left at least ten killed, mainly Presidential Guard soldiers. In following hours, hundreds gathered in Conakry’s suburbs and Labé city (centre north) to celebrate Condé’s ouster, particularly but not exclusively in strongholds of main opposition party Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG). Coup leader Col Mamady Doumbouya same day announced govt’s dissolution and suspension of country’s constitution, said military junta National Rally and Development Committee (CNRD) now in charge; also called for national unity, reconciliation, good governance and vowed to fight corruption and respect rule of law. Junta next day consolidated takeover by naming military governors, prohibited govt officials from leaving country and reportedly arrested several politicians, said there would be no “witch hunt” against former govt officials. UFDG leader Cellou Dalein Diallo 7 Sept qualified coup as “patriotic act”, said his party was “open to work” with CNRD; CNRD same day took benevolent measures toward opposition, notably releasing around 80 political detainees. CNRD 14 Sept opened four-day series of consultations with political and civil society figures, as well as foreign diplomats, to map out framework for transitional govt. CNRD 27 Sept unveiled “transitional charter”, saying it will return country to civilian rule without clarifying how long transition will last; Doumbouya to run country as transition’s president, along with govt headed by civilian PM and 81-member National Transitional Council to serve as parliament; charter bans all those taking part in transition from running in next national and local elections. Coup drew widespread international condemnation. Notably, Economic Community of West African States 8 Sept suspended Guinea’s membership, demanded return to constitutional order and immediate release of Condé; 16 Sept imposed sanctions on CNRD members, including travel bans and asset freezes, and called for presidential and legislative elections within six months. African Union 10 Sept also suspended Guinea.
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Briefing / Africa

Guinea’s Other Emergency: Organising Elections

Guinea approaches the second free presidential election in its history under difficult circumstances. Unless the government convenes a serious dialogue with the opposition, it risks electoral violence and exacerbating ethnic divisions.

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