The Guinean president was apparently detained by soldiers in a coup after hours of intense shooting near the presidential palace, the capital of the African country.
In a statement on state television on Sunday, Army Colonel Mamadi Dunbowya said the country’s borders were closed, the constitution was declared invalid, and the government was dissolved.
Mr. Dunboya addressed the country from the National Television Headquarters, wearing the Guinean flag, and about six other soldiers lined up beside him.
“We no longer entrust politics to a single man, the Colonel said in his announcement.
A video of the country’s president, Alpha Conde, appeared on Sunday showing that an 83-year-old leader was tired and disturbed during military detention-although it is not clear when and where the video was taken.
Dumbouya later told France 24 Television that Conde had been detained in a “safe place” and had been seen by a doctor.
The president, who has been in power for more than a decade, has argued that his term has plummeted since he sought a third term last year and that no term restrictions apply.
The military takeover was accused by the African Union (AU) block of demanding immediate release of Mr Conde on Sunday night.
In a statement, AU Chairman Felix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Musa Faki Mahamat, Chairman of the AU Commission, will meet urgently to investigate the situation and take appropriate action accordingly. I asked.
The Economic Community of West African States also demanded a return to the country’s constitutional order on Sunday and threatened to impose sanctions if the president was not released.
Doumbouya argues that Guinea has been acting in the best interests of Guinea because of its lack of economic development since its independence from France in 1958.
“Looking at the condition of our roads, we can see that it’s time to wake up 72 years later,” he said.
However, some observers in the country argue that tensions between Mr Conde and the Army colonel come from recent proposals to reduce military salaries.
When Mr. Conde wins the country’s first democratic elections since his independence in 2010, his victory marks a new start for a country that has been plagued by decades of corrupt authoritarian rule. Was expected.
His opponents criticized the president for failing to improve the lives of Guineans. Many Guineans still live in poverty, despite the country’s vast mineral resources.
Additional reporting by the institution