Special forces who seized power in Guinea on Sunday, capturing President Alpha Conde, announced a nationwide curfew “until further notice” as well as the replacement of governors by the military.
The junta also said in a statement read out over national television that it would convene Conde’s cabinet ministers and other top officials at 11:00 am (1100 GMT) Monday in the capital Conakry.
Army putschists in Guinea on Sunday had arrested the president and staged a coup, in the latest political upheaval to roil the impoverished west African country, as the government insisted it had repelled the attack.
“We have decided, after having taken the president, to dissolve the constitution,” said a uniformed officer flanked by soldiers toting assault rifles in a video sent to AFP.
The officer also said that Guinea’s land and air borders have been shut and the government dissolved.
The most recent presidential poll in the nation of some 13 million people, in October 2020, was violently disputed and also marred by accusations of electoral fraud.
Conde won a controversial third term in that poll, but only after pushing through a new constitution in March 2020 that allowed him to sidestep the country’s two-term limit.
Dozens of people were killed during demonstrations against a third term for the president, often in clashes with security forces. Hundreds were also arrested.
Conde was then proclaimed president on November 7 last year — despite his main challenger Cellou Dalein Diallo as well as other opposition figures calling the election a sham.
After the poll, the government launched a crackdown and arrested several prominent opposition members for their alleged role in abetting electoral violence in the country.
A former opposition leader himself who was at one point imprisoned and sentenced to death, Conde became Guinea’s first democratically-elected leader in 2010 and won re-election in 2015.
Hopes of a new political dawn in the former French colony have withered, however, and he has been accused of drifting into authoritarianis