Within hours of President Lansana Conte's death, the Guinean military claimed it had taken control in a coup - but the situation remains unclear with the government insisting it is still in charge, pointing to divisions within the army's ranks.
Members of the Guinean military attempted to seize power hours after the death of President Lansana Conté, who has ruled the African nation since 1984. But the situation on the ground remained unclear Tuesday night with conflicting reports as to the importance of the rebel movement.
Overnight Tuesday, it was Mr Sompare who announced on national television that Conté, 74, had died. Mr Souaré then asked the president of the Supreme Court to acknowledge the power vacuum and apply the measures prescribed in the country’s Constitution. With the coup attempt, the army took effective control of the situation.
The mutineers, representing themselves as the “National Council for Democracy and Development” (CNDD), demanded that “government members and all departmental officers” report to the country’s main military camp in Conakry “in order to assure their security”.
“It remains to be seen which faction of the army, which ethnicity, comes out on top,” says Emmanuel Goujon, AFP correspondent for FRANCE 24 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. “The army is very divided and President Conté used this division as an instrument of power.”
Date created : 2008-12-23