By David Lewis, Edward McAllister and Saliou Samb
DAKAR (Reuters) – In 2016, Mamady Doumbouya, a commander in the Guinean military, requested his superiors if he may have ammunition to coach his troops in marksmanship. He by no means acquired it, he mentioned, as a result of they feared he would use the rounds to launch a coup.
Five years on, Doumbouya did simply that https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/heavy-gunfire-heard-guinea-capital-conakry-reuters-witness-2021-09-05.
On Sunday, after hours of gunfire in the capital Conakry, the 41-year-old appeared in an internet video in military fatigues and wrap-around sun shades to declare President Alpha Conde https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/toppled-conde-failed-live-up-pledges-guinea-2021-09-06 ousted and the authorities dissolved.
“We name on our brothers in arms to unite as a way to reply to the legit aspirations of the individuals of Guinea,” he mentioned on state tv, Guinea’s flag draped round his shoulders.
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Quoting former Ghana president Jerry Rawlings, who seized energy twice, Doumbouya mentioned: “If the individuals are crushed by their elites, it’s as much as the military to present the individuals their freedom.”
The energy of Guinea’s establishments, its financial system, its democracy, have to be restored, he mentioned. His phrases might have appealed to a bit of society that has seen none of the wealth from the extraction of the nation’s pure assets, and who protested in opposition to Conde’s run for a 3rd time period in workplace final yr – a transfer many thought-about unlawful.
Doumbouya’s precise motives will not be but clear – safety analysts mentioned he was as soon as a detailed ally of Conde. The coup has been condemned by the United States, the United Nations and African regional our bodies.
He has not outlined a plan to carry democratic elections or set up a transitional authorities as different coup leaders have completed in West and Central Africa in latest months. On Monday, he barred authorities officers from travelling https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/guinea-coup-leader-bars-travel-government-officials-2021-09-06 and threatened those that didn’t attend a meeting he summoned them to.
However, a speech given in 2017 https://www.emsome.terre.defense.gouv.fr/images/documents/bibliotheque/actes_colloque/Actes_colloque_interculturalit_2017.pdf to a convention hosted by France’s armed forces holds a clue to the character of the nation’s surprising new chief.
“I requested for ammunition final yr (2016) … however by no means acquired it,” Doumbouya mentioned in the speech, which was revealed alongside others on the web site of EMSOME, a bit of France’s armed pressured that specialises in abroad missions.
“On the different hand, the French who come to supply coaching for us will instantly obtain all the things they want.”
The quick speech reveals the frustrations of a politicised soldier who bristled at his lack of energy and affect, and what he thought-about a paucity of help and respect for Guinea’s navy.
French and American troops take pleasure in better entry to the corridors of energy throughout Africa than home forces, he mentioned.
“Our rulers favor to belief them slightly than us, and take into account them to be actual advisers, capabilities we’ll by no means obtain.”
“Whites maintain an influence that’s unattainable to us,” he mentioned.
Doumbouya was not reachable for touch upon Monday. Army officers couldn’t be reached to verify his previous request for ammunition.
It’s change into a well-recognized sight in West and Central Africa in latest months: a little-known however skilled soldier sits behind a desk and says he’s in cost. Events in Guinea on Sunday observe two takeovers in Mali since August 2020, and one in Chad in April.
Not a lot is thought about Doumbouya’s youth. Local media reviews say he’s an ethnic Malinke, like Conde, and comes from the japanese Kankan Region.
According to a biography circulated by Guinea intelligence officers on Sunday, he has 15 years of navy expertise together with missions in Afghanistan, Ivory Coast, Djibouti and Central African Republic.
He underwent coaching in Israel, Senegal and Gabon, and the War College in Paris. He served in the French overseas legion. The French defence ministry declined to remark citing the “present scenario in Guinea”. Spokespeople in the different nations couldn’t instantly verify this data.
Doumbouya was appointed head of a particular forces unit created in 2018 to counter the rising risk of militants in the area. The unit was seen as Guinea’s finest educated and geared up.
It is unclear up to now what sort of help Doumbouya has throughout the armed forces. Still, the data supplied by officers paints a rosy image.
He is “in a position to determine and defuse dangerous conditions by remaining calm in the face of a hostile surroundings and excessive stress,” the biography mentioned.
(Additional Reporting by Richard Lough in Paris; Writing By Edward McAllister; Editing by Bate Felix and Andrew Heavens)
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