Africa, Analysis, Side Feature

Q&A: The Military Coup Guinea

(The Military Council of Guinea announced that it will start, as of tomorrow, Tuesday 14/9/2021, a series of meetings with political forces, civil society and representatives of mining companies, in preparation for the formation of a government in the country… Dar Al-Hilal 12/9/2021) On Sunday evening, 5/9/2021, Conakry-Guinea witnessed a military coup led by Special Forces Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, who announced through a television speech the arrest of the country’s President Alpha Conde, the dissolution of Parliament and the government, the suspension of the constitution and the closure of borders. Who is behind this coup? Is it related to the international conflict over the country?

To clarify the correct opinion on this issue, we review the following matters:

1-  The leader of the coup, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, said on Guinean state television following the coup on  Sunday evening, 5/9/2021: (We decided to dissolve the institutions and the government and close the land and air borders, and we turn to those who are interested to complete their work normally) and he called on (the military to stay in their barracks) and held (the government  responsible for the poor conditions, abuse of justice, crushing of citizens, disrespect for democracy and politicization of administrative issues in addition to rampant poverty and corruption), he said (we decided to arrest President Alpha Conde, (83 years old). And announced the replacement of military officers with governors of the regions. The next day, the coup leader pledged, in a televised speech, also (to form a government of national unity to manage the transition).

He did not specify the transition period. He summoned the ministers and senior government officials to a meeting with him and threatened those who failed to attend that he would consider it a “rebellion against the National Assembly and Democracy Committee”, which is the name chosen by the Special Forces for themselves. Soldiers disrespectfully led those officials to the army headquarters in the capital, Conakry. He said, “We will not entrust politics with one man anymore, but we will entrust it with the people,” and he said, “We will all sit down to write a constitution that adopts a reality that is capable of solving our problems”… All of this indicates his desire to rule himself now and after the transitional period.

2-  Let us take a step back and recall what happened at the end of 2008, when a military group led by Captain Moussa Camara staged a coup four hours after the announcement of the death of the President of the Guinean Republic, General Lansana Conte. Then they announced that (they do not intend to continue in power for more than two years until presidential elections are held at the end of 2010), and we mentioned the details of that coup in the answer to a question on 26/12/ 2008 and explained that America was behind that coup, and this was later proven. Indeed, elections were held in November 2010 and Alpha Condé won it. He was opposed to the rule of General Lansana Conte, the agent of France. Alpha Condé is known (and described as a historical opposition, as he opposed all successive governments of Guinea since its independence in 1958, and was exiled to Europe. In addition, he was sentenced to death and imprisonment before he came to power in 2010. Al-Jazeera 24/10/2015). He perceived as a saviour for Guineans from the tyranny practiced by France’s agents. When the pro-American soldiers staged a coup in 2008, his position was moderate towards them. Rather, he demanded that they hold elections as they promised. Indeed, the elections took place and Alpha Conde won. He was re-elected in 2015 and his term expires in 2020. He is not entitled to run for a third term according to the constitution, so he amended it by holding  a public referendum in 2019; this allowed the holding of elections in October 2020, which he won amid opposition protests against the referendum and the elections, as well as accusations of fraud. However, the Constitutional Court issued a decision in December 2020 confirming Conde’s victory over his rivals who had lodged complaints to it. The man was confident in himself and in the popular support he enjoyed, so he did not calculate that he would be  overthrown, as the army was with him.

3- Then this coup took place against him on 5/9/2021 and he was arrested. The international and regional responses to the coup that came clarified who was behind this coup:

A- America responded harshly to this military coup. A statement issued by its foreign ministry, through its spokesman, Ned Price, who said: “The United States condemns today’s events in Conakry. Violence and any extra-constitutional measures will only erode Guinea’s prospects for peace, stability, and prosperity.” The Statement added “These actions could limit the ability of the United States and Guinea’s other international partners to support the country as it navigates a path toward national unity and a brighter future for the Guinean people.”

“We urge all parties to forego violence and any efforts not supported by the Constitution and stand by the rule of law. We reiterate our encouragement of a process of national dialogue to address concerns sustainably and transparently to enable a peaceful and democratic way forward for Guinea to realize its full potential…US State Department official website, Reuters 6/9/2021,” he said, demonstrating that this coup is not in America’s interest, unlike the coup in 2008, to which its response was feeble and did not condemn it at all. Rather, it said at the time: “ “We are working with our partners in the region and other countries in the region and the African Union to encourage the institutions in Guinea to take all steps to ensure a peaceful and democratic transition”. This comment was positively in favor of the revolutionaries at the time. But this time it condemned the coup and considered it as violence and threatened to reduce support for Guinea and demanded the adherence to the constitution, the democratic path and the rule of law, not the rule of the military.

B- While the French Foreign Ministry issued a weak and vague statement after the coup saying: (Paris “joins the call of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to condemn the attempt to seize power by force” on Sunday and “demand the return to constitutional order” AFP 6/9/2021). This comment is an appeasement of the public opinion that is rejecting the coup, it is not serious. It did not demand the return of President Conde to power, and did not threaten the coup makers with penalties. Its position was calmer than when a coup took place in Mali against its agent Ibrahim Keita; it demanded his return to power, and condemned the Mali coup on the highest levels. The French Presidency said: (President Macron is closely following the situation and condemns the ongoing rebellion attempt), and France’s Foreign Minister Le Drian said: (France condemns in the strongest terms this serious incident). We have mentioned the details of the Mali coup in the answer to the question on 1/9/2020. But Guinea’s coup was not condemned by the French presidency, and the French Foreign Ministry did not condemn it separately, but rather stated that it includes its voice to the Economic Community of West African States, which indicates its lack of interest by this condemnation, and appears as if it is following this ineffective administrative group! All this indicates that France was behind the recent coup in Guinea.

C- If we learn the history of the coup leader, we will be sure that France was behind him. As reported in the French newspapers, the coup leader, Mamady Doumbouya, who was born in 1980, studied and trained at the Military School in Sumore, western France, and obtained a diploma in higher military studies, and won the trust of French officers. He was promoted to the rank of corporal, and he joined the French army in the Foreign Legion, which had been established in the past on 10/3/1831. Meanwhile, Doumbouya participated in the French Legion in several missions of the French army in various countries, in loyalty to France, until he returned to Guinea after 15 years. He was appointed chief of the special forces in 2018, and in 2019 he was promoted to the rank of colonel. Information began to leak last year about the aspiring colonel’s desire to increase the power and influence of the special forces he heads at the expense of the Ministry of Defense. There was news last May about him planning a coup d’état, which he was arrested for, but the government denied it. It appears that it was not a coup attempt, but rather a demand to separate his special forces from the Ministry of Defense, and for this reason President Conde or the government did not have sufficient doubts about him, and could not confirm them and preferred to keep him under its supervision, as he could not separate the Special Forces from the Ministry of Defense and have an independent organ through which he could carry out what he intended.

4- The coup led to a rise in aluminum prices in global markets and reached its highest price in ten years, due to fears of supply disruptions, given that Guinea is the world’s largest producer of bauxite, which is used in the production of aluminum. The coup leader tried to reassure the foreign partners and investors that the new Conakry leaders would maintain their commitments to them to continue normal activities in the country. (The military council led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya will meet the heads of parties and sect leaders next Tuesday, while they will meet on Wednesday with civil society organizations and diplomatic representations, and on Thursday they will meet with the heads of mining companies operating in Guinea and then employers’ associations. Guinea is one of the richest countries in bauxite ore that is used in the production of aluminum, and it has mines to extract iron, gold and diamonds, but it is one of the poorest countries in the world. The coup in Guinea led to the rise in the price of aluminum in world markets to its highest levels in years, and the Military Council sought to reassure Guinea’s partners that production activities would not stop and that the commitments will be respected… Dar Al-Hilal 12/9/2021).

5- It is known that these companies plunder this mineral and other abundant minerals in Guinea and leave nothing for its people, while they suffer poverty, deprivation and the spread of diseases. Guinea is considered one of the richest countries with its many raw materials, but its population is among the poorest in the world! Note that the overwhelming majority there are Muslims. But it is a country that was colonized by France and given its formal independence in 1958, but the French influence remained in it. It built the state, army, the rulers and the political center and it remained in control of the economy and made its culture the dominant one in the country. America came to compete with France and kicked it out of there and replaced it by extending its influence, plundering the country’s wealth. Western capitalist countries‘ aim is the colonization of Africa only, and they are not interested in the country’s revival and progress and addressing people’s problems. Winning over of the government, the rulers or the army leaders in the country are used as a means of colonialism, so they are relieved  from sending their armies to occupy it as in the past, because of the availability of the possibility of extending their influence and colonialism by means of buying of individuals in the political or military centers. When a regime, rulers, or officers are won over, they carry out a military coup as the colonists want, then the door will be opened for colonialism and the extension of influence. Thus, the international conflict will continue to rage between the colonial states over the small states, especially in Africa. People cannot get rid of this widespread evil except with the return of Islam in ruling by establishing the Khilafah Rashida (Rightly-Guided Caliphate) in one or more Islamic countries, which will defeat the colonialists, liberate all countries from their colonialism, return wealth to its people, distribute its revenues on them, and revive them.

[وَيَوْمَئِذٍ يَفْرَحُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ * بِنَصْرِ اللَّهِ يَنْصُرُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الرَّحِيمُ]

“And that day the believers will rejoice * In the victory of Allah. He gives victory to whom He wills, and He is the Exalted in Might, the Merciful” [Ar-Rum: 4-5].

6 Safar Al Khair 1443 AH – 13/9/2021 CE