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Guinea’s Coup Leader Gets Top Military Rank amid Political Uncertainty, Growing Fears he May Hang onto Power

By January 25, 2024No Comments
Mamady Doumbouya announcing 2024 constitutional referendum (c) WuzupNigeria

The head of Guinea’s military junta, Col. Mamady Doumbouya, has been promoted to a five-star general, the highest rank in the army, by his fellow officers. The promotion, announced on Monday, was seen as a sign of support for Doumbouya, who seized power in a coup on September 5, 2021, ousting the country’s elected president Alpha Conde.

Conde, who had been in office since 2010, had sparked widespread protests and violence after he changed the constitution to allow him to run for a third term in 2020. He won the controversial election, but the opposition and civil society groups rejected the results and accused him of fraud.

Doumbouya, who was the head of the elite special forces’ unit, said he staged the coup to end corruption, human rights abuses, and economic mismanagement under Conde. He also promised to organize a transition to civilian rule and hold free and fair elections by December 31, 2024.

But the Junta leader is becoming increasingly totalitarian. He has banned political protests and jailed journalists.

Former Guinea President Alpha Conde remains in detention custody (c) UPI

“The situation is worsening,” said Guinean journalist, Mamadou Adama.

“For two months now, social networks have been deactivated, internet services have been weakened and we can’t communicate with the outside world,” he told Timescape Magazine.

He said at least ten journalists have been arrested and others have been suspended.

Some analysts fear that Doumbouya, who has received training and support from France, Israel, and Morocco, may not be willing to relinquish power and could face resistance from other factions within the army or the opposition.

Guinea, a mineral-rich country with the world’s largest reserves of bauxite, the main source of aluminum, has a history of coups and instability since its independence from France in 1958 (c) Aluminum Insider

The country has never had a peaceful transfer of power and has suffered from ethnic tensions, poverty, and poor governance. Guinea’s political crisis could also have regional implications, as it shares borders with six other countries, some of which are also facing security and humanitarian challenges.

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