AFRICA/GUINEA - Coup leaders try to reassure the international community and investors

Tuesday, 7 September 2021 coup   military   local churches  

Conakry (Agenzia Fides) - "We want to place the transition that is opening under the sign of hope and of a new Guinea, reconciled with itself, with all the children of the country. (...) There will be no spirit of hatred, revenge or witch-hunting", because "justice will be the compass that will guide every Guinean citizen. "Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, leader of the coup leaders who deposed President Alpha Condé on Sunday, September 5, adopted conciliatory tones (see Fides, 6/9/2021). Speaking at a meeting yesterday, September 6, with outgoing Prime Minister, Ibrahima Kassory Fofana and the members of his government, as well as the Presidents of the Republican Institutions, convened by the Comité National du Rassemblement et du Développement (CNRD), a body chaired by Doumbouya himself, he promised to "create the conditions for a new political and social beginning". Guinea is the world's leading producer of bauxite, from which aluminum is obtained, and has significant reserves of iron and gold. News of the coup sparked a rise in aluminum prices, while the international community condemned the coup. Doumbouya therefore announced the lifting of the curfew in the mining areas to allow the continuity of mining activities, and the forthcoming formation of a government of national unity to lead the transition, the duration of which has not yet been determined. "It should be noted that for some time now, a series of measures taken by the country’s authorities has created general discontent among the population", local sources told Fides. "On August 3, for example, the government increased the price of fuel by 22%, from 9,000 Guinean francs (0.92 US dollars) per liter at the pump, to 11,000 (1.2 US dollars). As was to be expected, the announcement of this measure automatically increased prices in transport and in shops". "As if this was not enough, information circulated on August 20 according to which, pursuant to a law on social contributions for civil servants and pensioners, the state received 5% of the salary of civil servant. This measure was to come into force in the same month of August". If sacrifices were asked from the population, at the same time, the endowments to the Presidency of the Republic (by 35.5%) and to the National Assembly (by 31%) were increased.
"It is for these and many other reasons that at the announcement of the arrest of Alpha Condé, a part of the population expressed their joy in the streets of Conakry, escorting the soldiers they consider saviors", explain our sources. Regarding the situation of the Church, the priests of the Cathedral of Conakry, whose presbytery shares a fence with the Presidency of the Republic, were asked, to leave the premises for safety reasons. During the assault on the Presidential Palace, bullets fell into the fence of the regional house of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny, who had to move to another structure in their community. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 7/9/2021)