News

Military Group Claims to Have Taken Power in Guinea

Multimedia

Audio

A military-led group in Guinea says it has taken power, following the death of long-time President Lansana Conte. But the civilian government in Conakry says it is still in charge.

Mutinous soldiers in Guinea say they have dissolved the government and constitution.

Coup follows announcement of president's death

The coup attempt followed an early morning broadcast announcing President Conte's death. In that broadcast, the head of Guinea's armed forces and other military leaders stood beside the head of the national assembly, Aboubacar Sompare, who called for the supreme court to follow the constitution and make him president.

The coup announcement that followed said the newly-formed National Council for Democracy would take charge of the destiny of the Guinean people. Government ministers were ordered to report to a military barracks that has been the scene of several unsuccessful mutinies against the Conte government.

Prime minister denies claim military is in charge

Guinean Prime Minister Ahmed Tidiane Souare says his government has not been dissolved. He told French radio that those behind the coup attempt have not used force and the government is calling for understanding and compassion from all Guineans, especially the military.

Former colonial power France says it will oppose any military take-over. Assembly Speaker Sompare told French television there are negotiations underway between soldiers backing the coup and those supporting constitutional rule.

Army Chief of Staff General Diarra Camara told VOA that he did not think the coup had been a success and appealed to Guineans to follow rules for a peaceful transition of power as outlined in the constitution. Asked what would happen if they did not, General Camara said, "By then, I may not be chief of staff anymore."

Army chief explains motivation for coup

Announcing the coup attempt, Captain Moussa Camara said the military was taking power to stop what he called widespread corruption, impunity, anarchy, and a catastrophic economic situation.

Camara said members of the Conte government are, in large part, responsible for what he called an "unprecedented economic and social crisis." He said a joint civilian-military council reflecting the nation's ethnic balance would run the country until new elections.

A reporter for VOA in Conakry says the situation is confused, but the capital remains calm as most people are following orders to stay at home.

President Conte died after long illness

President Conte had been ill for some time. The nation's second president was thought to be in his 70s and was a heavy smoker who suffered from diabetes. He ruled Guinea since a 1984 coup that followed the death of post-independence leader Ahmed Sekou Toure.

President Conte first won election in 1993 in a vote protested by political opponents because some results were canceled. He survived a February 1996 army mutiny protesting pay in which at least 40 people were killed. The president was captured by mutineers who later freed him when he promised to raise troop salaries.

President Conte was re-elected in 1998 after his main challenger was jailed for sedition. A referendum changing the constitution to remove term limits allowed President Conte to run again in 2003. Most opposition parties boycotted that ballot, and he was re-elected with more than 95 percent of the vote.

President Conte also survived an assassination attempt by dissident soldiers in January of 2005.

Following his death, Guinea's constitution calls for presidential elections within 60 days. Legislative elections had already been planned for next year.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs