Army colonel in Guinea says government dissolved, borders closed

Army colonel in Guinea says government dissolved, borders closed
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An army colonel announced Sunday that Guinea’s government had been dissolved and the country’s borders temporarily closed, in an apparent coup d’etat against President Alpha Conde.

"We are going to rewrite a constitution together," Col. Mamadi Doumbouya said in a televised announcement, accompanied by a handful of other military officials, according to Reuters.

The mutinous officials dubbed themselves the "The National Committee of Gathering and Development," the Associated Press reported

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Hours earlier, gunfire broke out near the presidential palace in the West African country’s capital, Conakry, though Guinea’s defense ministry said the attack had been repelled, Reuters noted.

Videos circulated online of Conde in custody, though several news reports said reporters could not verify whether the depictions were accurate. Reuters noted it was still uncertain if the country had completely fallen to military officials. 

Conde, who was re-elected for a third term last October, saw his popularity fall and public anger grow following his last election, when a constitutional change was enacted allowing him to extend his term limits, according to Reuters.

Doumbouya argued that aspects of the country had stopped progressing, prompting a necessary change.

“If you see the state of our roads, if you see the state of our hospitals, you realize that after 72 years, it’s time to wake up,” Doumbouya said, according to the AP. “We have to wake up.”

Members of the international community quickly voiced their opposition to the abrupt dissolution of the government.

“I am personally following the situation in Guinea very closely. I strongly condemn any takeover of the government by force of the gun and call for the immediate release of President Alpha Conde,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres tweeted on Sunday.