Coup in Guinea could have been avoided if….

On Sunday, Colonel MamadiDoumbouya, Commander of Guinea’s Special Forces, an elite military unit, announced a coup in that country following which its elected government and constitution were dissolved with  land and air borders closed.

There is now the National Rally and Development Committee (CNRD) running the affairs of Guinea, which has asked all Guineans to go about their normal duties.

The military takeover has received loads of condemnation across the globe, with organisations and nations demanding the release of toppled President Alpha Conde and his reinstatement.

However, Col Doumbouya has emphatically stated that “We have dissolved the government and institutions. We [the people of Guinea] are going to rewrite a [new]constitution together.”

The junta has, so far, replaced regional governors with military commanders.

On Sunday the junta invited ousted government officials to attend a meeting at parliament on Monday morning with the caution that “Any failure to attend will be considered as a rebellion against the CNRD.”

At the meeting, the junta asked the state officials to hand over their official vehicles to the military and that they had been barred from travel until further notice.

They also asked economic and financial partners, including investors, to continue with all their activities, assuring them of respect from the military.

Besides, the CNRD has stated that it will announce a new government in weeks, which will be a unity government to oversee a transition period, and vowed that there would be no “witch hunt” against the former government.

The stance of the military is a clear indication that they are doing all they can to consolidate military rule in Guinea before an elected government can come in, considering the fact that military rule is not new to the country.

This is worrying because it seems coups are going to be resorted to in the West African sub-region if things go bad politically, considering the fact that not even a year now, Mali had one, which is not the best way to go in the 21st Century.

However, there are factors that fester the grounds for such military takeovers that are rearing their ugly heads in the West African sub-region.

Why should there be a spontaneous expression of joy in Guinea, particularly in the capital, Conakry, for instance?

The CNRD, said, for example, that “poverty and endemic corruption” had driven the forces to remove Mr Conde from office.

Residents rejoicing over the takeover also cited corruption and lack of power and water,with a media report saying Mr Conde had asked for increase in the budget of his presidency whilst salaries must remain at their present levels or reduced in some cases.

It is also said that in recent weeks, Mr Conde’s government had sharply increased taxes to replenish state coffers and raised the price of fuel by 20 per cent, causing widespread frustration.

Mr Conde, now 83, came to power in 2010 and re-elected in 2015 to finish a two-term rule according to his country’s constitution but circumvented things to change the constitution to rule for a third term, which he won in October last year, an act that led to violent protests from the opposition.

Here is a man who enjoyed a lot of goodwill that brought him to power but has abused it.

Much as the Ghanaian Times would not support a coup anywhere in the world, the paper believes it is about time world leaders, particularly those in Africa, checked their peers when they try to abuse their power and their countries’ sovereignty so factors that fuel coups could be avoided.

If that had been done, Guinea would have been a different story today.

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