Wednesday, December 24, 2008

[Guinean news] Situation in Guinea still confused

As of 12:13 PM EST - 5:13 PM Guinean time

The situation in Guinea remains confused a day after an attempted military coup and two days after the death of head of state Gen. Lansana Conté.

Yesterday, the purported new junta issued a statement dissolving the government, suspending the constitution and airing the usual list of grievances typically cited in military coups. This was followed shortly thereafter by a second as well as third and fourth communiqués.

The coup attempt appears to be led by junior members of the military. On the BBC World Service yesterday, the army chief denounced the action and told the soldiers to not meddle in politics. Mohammad ibn Chambas, head of the West African regional group ECOWAS, said yesterday that talks were under way between rival army factions.

Guinéenews reported yesterday that putschistes seized control of the office of the prime minister Ahmed Tidjiane Souré and that National Assembly president and constitutional acting president of the Republic Aboubacar Somparé had disappeared from public eye.

Both had told the international media that the civilian government remained the legal authority. Prime Minister Souaré told Radio France Internationale that the situation was a mere 'misunderstanding' between Guineans and that the country should focus on preparing services for the late head of state.

Nevertheless, the African Union condemned the coup attempt as did the European Union.

The International Herald Tribune reported that, this afternoon, junta spokesman Captain Moussa Dadis Camara had been named by the coup makers as Guinea's new head of state.

IHT added: Bands of roving soldiers ransacked the homes of several ministers and gunshots rang out, residents reported. The junior officers were apparently tightening their grip on strategic buildings, with their supporters firmly ensconced in the national broadcasting headquarters across the street from the American Embassy. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

-A Lansana Conté obituary (BBC)
-Worries for the future in Conakry and from elsewhere (BBC)
-Fears of a wider regional war (BBC)
-More uncertainty (IRIN)
-A YouTube report on the situation (al-Jazeera).

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