- While the Guinea coup plotters think Alpha Conde, who was removed as the president of the country, might seek revenge if he was released, they are also unsure if they should keep him detained.
Guinea’s ruling junta is facing a tough choice: keep ousted president Alpha Conde detained, ignoring international demands for clemency, or free a powerful leader who could seek revenge.
A recent military putsch ended Conde’s rule in the West African country, coming after months of tension over his decision to seek a third presidential term last year.
Special forces led by Lieutenant-Colonel Mamady Doumbouya rebelled on September 5, assaulting the presidential palace and capturing 83-year-old Conde.
They quickly dissolved the government and installed a military junta, citing rights abuses under Conde.
But the coup sparked broad diplomatic outrage and led to calls for Conde’s immediate release, including from the United Nations, the African Union and the West Africa bloc ECOWAS.
Guinea’s ruling military has promised to keep the former leader safe, but their plans for Conde are unclear.
The ex-president’s political opponents appear to want him to stay under lock and key — wary of his fierce reputation and close links to some African leaders.
“We think that Mr. Alpha Conde should at first stay with the junta, for security reasons — for Guinea, but also for himself,” said Abdoulaye Oumou Sow, a spokesman for the opposition collective FNDC.
“We all know the friendship he has with some heads of state in the sub-region. We know that he is rich and has all the means to want to return to power,” he added.
Former prime minister and opposition figure Cellou Dalein Diallo also said that releasing Conde could be problematic.
“Knowing Mr. Alpha Conde, I am not sure he can remain calm,” he was quoted as saying.
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