The U.S. has condemned what it called a “military seizure of power’’ in Guinea following reports that President Alpha Conde had been detained during a series of gun battles in the capital.
“Violence and any extra-constitutional measures will only erode Guinea’s prospects for peace, stability, and prosperity,’’ State spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.
He warned that the actions could limit the ability of the U.S. and others to support the country “as it navigates a path toward national unity and a brighter future for the Guinean people.
“We urge all parties to forego violence and any efforts not supported by the Constitution and stand by the rule of law,’’ Price said.
Earlier on Sunday UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he strongly condemned any takeover of the government by force of the gun and called for the immediate release of the President.
Several videos have been circulating on social media, purporting to show that Conde had been overthrown.
In one of the video bearing the logo of the state broadcaster, several men in military uniform and carrying the national flag could be seen.
One of them said the government had been deposed, that the constitution was suspended and the country’s borders were closed.
In another video, Conde himself was seen with men in military uniform. The president’s whereabouts were initially uncleared.
The French-language channel TV5 Monde and other media, however, reported that Guinea’s Defence Ministry had stated in the afternoon that insurgents had been repelled by the presidential guard and other security forces.
Gunfights broken out in several areas of the capital Conakry, the British Embassy to the West African country said on Facebook on Sunday.
An eyewitness in the city told dpa that the situation there was very tense, particularly in the area around the presidential palace in the Kaloum district, where there had been sustained gunfire.
The military was meanwhile said to be patrolling the streets of Conakry.
Conde, who has been in office since 2010, secured a third term in 2020 after a controversial constitutional amendment.
The vote was preceded by months of political tensions and violent protests.