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.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs