Guinea Coup Plotters Announce Curfew, New Leader



Mutinous soldiers trying to take power in Guinea have named an army captain as the country's new leader while promising to hold democratic elections in two years. The civilian government in Conakry says it is still in charge.

New ruling council says elections to be held in December 2010

Soldiers behind the coup say they have chosen Captain Moussa Camara as Guinea's new leader. In a broadcast on state radio, Camara said a 31-member National Council for Democracy and Development will organize "free, credible, and transparent" elections in December 2010.

Camara said the new ruling council will be comprised of six civilians and 26 soldiers, including a general and nine officers with the rank of colonel or lieutenant colonel. He said soldiers have no wish to cling to power, and the only reason elections can not be held sooner is the fear that Guinea's territorial integrity could be compromised.

Camara accused the civilian government of trying to bring in foreign mercenaries, but he did not say where they were coming from or how they planned to enter the country.

Soldiers backing the coup also announced a curfew Wednesday that will run each night from eight in the evening until six in the morning.

Civilian government says it is still in power

Guinea's civilian government, meanwhile, says it has not been driven from power. The speaker of the National Assembly, the prime minister, and the army chief of staff say the coup is only backed by a small number of soldiers, and the government is working to restore order.

A reporter for VOA in Conakry says the capital is calm. Banks and government offices remain closed as heavily-armed soldiers backing the coup patrol the city in tanks and jeeps. The market in the center of the city was open and there were some taxis on the roads, but petroleum is only available on the black market as service stations are closed.

Tuesday's attempted coup followed the death of Guinea's long-time president Lansana Conte. The nation's second leader was thought to be in his 70s and had been ill for some time. He was a heavy smoker who suffered from diabetes.

With his death, the constitution says Guinea's supreme court should now make National Assembly Speaker Aboubacar Sompare president ahead of elections in 60 days.

But coup leaders say the Conte government is responsible for widespread corruption and economic collapse. The world's largest producer of aluminum ore is one of the world's poorest countries.

UN, US, France oppose coup

The United Nations, the United States and former colonial power France oppose the military's attempt to take power.

U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesman Robert Wood said Wednesday that Washington wants an immediate restoration of civilian, democratic rule. He said the Bush administration is following events closely and will be examining its options in the coming days. When asked what those options might include, Wood said cutting-off U.S. assistance for Guinea is an example of what might be considered, but no decisions have been made at this point as he said the situation in Conakry is still "fluid."

This forum has been closed.
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.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs