By Paul Ejime
Lt. Col. Mamady Doumbouya, Commander of Guinea’s elite Special Military Forces has appeared on state television sandwiched by his colleagues to announce the apparent overthrow of President Alpha Conde whose third term ambition had unleashed national division, violence and killings during the last controversial presidential vote last October.
Conde, 83, has ruled Guinea with an iron fist since 2010.
The former French colony in West Africa is rich in priced mineral resources including bauxite, gold, diamond and iron ore, but the wealth has not impacted Guinean citizens positively.
Since Conde forced his way to amend the national Constitution to allow him run for three terms, the disruption of his regime has been long in coming.
It adds to the military return to power in the insecurity- wracked West Africa and Sahel regions, following the recent ignoble examples of Mali and Chad. There has also been a coup attempt in Niger.
It is unclear where Conde is being held and the security situation in Guinea remains uncertain.
Footages trending on social media show Conde in apparent captivity by those who were supposed to be protecting him.
The broadcast by Lt. Boumbouya followed heavy gunfire around the Presidential Palace in the Kaloum District of the Guinean capital, Conkry.
France, the former colonial power in Guinea and the regional boc, ECOWAS appear would be watching the unfolding situation with anxiety.
The ugly development would further complicate the destabilisation and insecurity in the troubled West Africa and Sahel regions, which terrorist jihadist groups have made their safe havens despite the presence of the UN’s largest peace keeping Mission, MINUSMA of 15,000 personnel and some 5,000-strong French Barkhane forces in the regions.