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Soldiers detain Guinea's president, dissolve government

Guinea Political Crisis
Posted at 8:28 AM, Sep 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-06 11:31:19-04

CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — Mutinous soldiers in the West African nation of Guinea have detained President Alpha Conde in an apparent coup d'etat.

A video of the president in military custody was released after hours of heavy gunfire broke out Sunday near the presidential palace in the capital of Conakry.

Army Col. Mamadi Doumbouya also seized the public airwaves, telling the nation that Conde's government is dissolved, the constitution is invalid, and the nation's borders were closed.

The Defense Ministry initially claimed the attack had been thwarted.

Conde had been in power for more than a decade but saw his popularity plummet after he sought a third term last year, saying that term limits did not apply to him.

Guinea's new military leaders are seeking to tighten their grip on power, saying they will replace governors with regional commanders.

The junta issued a statement saying that a meeting would take place Monday to discuss the changes and that if local officials refuse to appear, it will be considered an act of rebellion.

It remains unclear how much support Doumbouya, the army's special forces commander, has in the larger military.

The international community has called for Conde's immediate release from junta custody.