Guinea coup: Who is Col Mamady Doumbouya?

01 Oct 2021
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A young charismatic soldier, Col Mamady Doumbouya has become Guinea's interim president just under a month after leading a coup against President Alpha Condé.

The deposed leader once put his faith in Col Doumbouya to help him keep his grip on power in the turbulent West African state.

Announcing the coup on 5 September, the 41-year-old former French legionnaire said the army had little choice but to seize power because of the rampant corruption, disregard for human rights and economic mismanagement under the 83-year-old President Condé.

 

Col Doumbouya's takeover means that he is currently the second-youngest leader of an African state. Only Mali's Col Assimi Goïta, who has been in power since staging a coup in May, is younger, having been born in 1983.

"The president is with us, he's in a safe place," Col Doumbouya told French media after staging the dramatic coup, as a video of Mr Condé - barefooted, with shirt buttons open, vest showing and slouched on a sofa - circulated on social media.

In contrast, Col Doumbouya - dressed in a red beret, sunglasses and army fatigues - appeared on state TV to announce that "the Guinean personalisation of political life is over. We will no longer entrust politics to one man, we will entrust it to the people".

President Condé remains in detention while the UN, African Union and regional body Ecowas all condemned the military junta that replaced him.

Ecowas and the AU have both suspended Guinea's membership.

The junta has announced plans to move the country towards civilian rule but did not specify how long the transition would be.

Anyone taking part in the interim government, including Col Doumbouya, will be barred from standing in the following elections .

Low profile to president

Married to a French national, Col Doumbouya is from the Malinké community, like the deposed president, and hails from Guinea's eastern Kankan region.

Until the coup, he kept a low public profile, with the BBC's Guinea reporter, Alhassan Sillah, saying he saw him at an event only once - three years ago, when the former French colony celebrated 60 years of independence.

 
 
 
 

 

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