opinion

Guinea Joins the African Club of the “Coup Belt”

Although the situation was difficult and Alpha Conde’s third term was controversial, the military coup is not justifiable.

By Mekki ELMOGRABI
Press Writer on African Affairs
elmograbi@gmail.com

The fifth of September 2021, will be remembered in history as the day of the coup d’état by Guinea’s military that overthrew the first democratically elected president Alpha Conde, the Guinean politician who served ten years out of his political career in prison paying the price of calling for democracy and human rights.

Yes, it is true, he made a fatal mistake to design the situation for his third term and he failed to calm down the tension between the two major groups in his country the Fulani and the Malinke and he opened the doors for this coup but there is no excuse to show satisfaction with what had happened.

Although the situation was difficult and Alpha Conde’s third term was unacceptable and extremely controversial, the military coup is no justifiable.

The AU chairman Felix Tshisekedi who is the current president of DRC and AU Commission head Moussa Faki together condemned the ousting of Alpha Conde that was declared by his special forces. The military leaders arrested the 83-year-old man, showed him as a helpless person in the video, dissolved the government, and suspended the constitution. They closed also Guinea’s land and air borders.

What happened was an old-style coup d’état with no single sign of revolutionary or civilian political powers that agreed on a prior homework or plan to replace the elected government with a wide range of national experts or respected icons.

The military junta gave no timeline for elections or transitional process.

Guinea, sometimes called Guinea-Conakry, after its capital and largest city Conakry to be distinguished from its neighbor Guinea-Bissau or other countries with “Guinea” in Africa or Asia.

The beautiful west African country with an area of 245 thousand square kilometers possesses 25% of the world’s deposit of bauxite making it the world’s second-largest producer of ore of aluminum.

The population of almost 13 million still didn’t get benefits from this advantage or any other potentials in the country in the agricultural and mineral sectors.

The population of Guinea comprises more than 20 ethnic groups with a percentage of more than 80% Muslims. The version of Islam in the country is moderate in ideas and traditional in the rich cultural aspects making the country immune from the wave of terrorism in West Africa.

The Fulani is the biggest ethnicity with nearly 34% of the population followed by the Mandinka or Malinke with 29%, and the Soussou with 21%.

Although the country has huge potentials in the mining sector, agriculture employs 80% of the nation’s labor force.

In addition to the bauxite production, Guinea industries include a good level of agribusinesses such as beer, juices, soft drinks, and tobacco. Still, there are no big industries based on the wealth of bauxite.

With its historical sites and beautiful warm beaches, Guinea is very attractive for tourism. Also, it is famous for its water-related tourist areas in which the waterfalls are found mostly in the Lower and central parts of the country.

The fishing sector also can make a big difference in the economy but still, the plans have not been translated into reality.

With the idea of the third term, Alpha Conde lost the title “Nelson Mandela of West Africa”, and with this coup, Guinea lost its democracy.

Who knows what will happen to Guinea, and who dares to say the military coup will be successful in doing things the civilian democratic rule has failed to achieve.

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