Guinea junta says ex-president at home with his wife

Guinea junta says ex-president at home with his wife
© JOHN WESSELS Guinea’s military seized power in a September 5 coup, deposing preisdent Alpha Conde

Guinea’s junta announced Monday that deposed president Alpha Conde was sent to his wife’s home in the capital, revealing the location of the ousted leader after holding him incommunicado for months.

Conde, 83, led the country for nearly 11 years before his September 5 ouster in a military coup. 

In a statement broadcast on state TV, the junta said Conde was now home with his wife, Hadja Djene Kaba Conde, in the Conakry suburbs.

It did not say whether Conde was under house arrest or if he faces other restrictions.

The junta, which calls itself the National Rally Committee for Development (CNRD), “will continue to provide the former head of state with treatment worthy of his rank, and this without any national or international pressure,” the statement said.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had imposed sanctions on individual coup leaders and demanded the “unconditional release” of Conde.

ECOWAS also suspended Guinea from the bloc and called for elections to be held within six months.

The country’s new strongman, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, was sworn in as interim president last month.

While he has pledged to restore civilian rule after elections, Doumbouya has so far refused to commit to a timeframe for the transition.

The 41-year-old former French legionnaire justified his putsch by accusing Conde of corruption and authoritarianism.

The junta has so far dissolved the government and replaced ministers, governors and prefects with handpicked administrators and soldiers.

Conde became Guinea’s first democratically elected leader in 2010, but last year sparked mass protests when he changed the constitution to allow himself to seek a third term.

Though Conde was re-elected, his critics denounced the poll as a sham.

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