The ex-president of Guinea, Alpha Condé, 83, overthrown by a military coup on September 5, was allowed Friday December 31 to leave the country for medical examinations. “In consultation with ECOWAS [la Communauté des Etats ouest-africains], the former president Alpha Condé is authorized to go to be consulted outside for a period of one month ”, indicates a government statement read Friday evening on public television. The date of his departure has not been specified.
The release of Mr. Condé is part of the demands of the ECOWAS, with the holding of elections within six months. The organization suspended Guinea from its instances and individually sanctioned members of the junta led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, who was made interim president.
Mr. Condé, at the head of the country for nearly eleven years, was held incommunicado for twelve weeks, until the junta allowed him to reside with his wife, in the suburbs of Conakry. The authorities did not specify whether this stay was subject to restrictions, but according to the press, he is under house arrest.
A coup d’état well received by the population
The junta said in a press release on September 17 that Alpha Condé “Is and will remain in Guinea”. The National Committee of the Rally for Development (CNRD), which took over the leadership of the country after the putsch, “Will continue to ensure to the former head of state a treatment worthy of his rank, and this without any national and international pressure”, said the press release.
Guineans, exasperated by poverty, corruption and repression, generally welcomed the coup. Colonel Doumbouya has promised to return power to civilians after elections, the date of which remains unknown.
Mr. Condé had a new Constitution adopted by referendum in March 2020 and invoked this change in fundamental law to stand for re-election after two terms, despite months of blood-suppressed protest. His re-election in October 2020, vigorously contested by the opposition, was preceded and followed by dozens of arrests.