Denounce Guinea’s Coup—and Incumbent Leaders’ Abuses of Power

Africa’s regional organizations won’t be taken seriously if they regularly denounce military juntas while tolerating constitutional coups.

Disclaimer: Views expressed in this commentary are those of the author. This commentary is independent of specific national or political interests. Views expressed do not necessarily represent the institutional position of International IDEA, its Board of Advisers or its Council of Member States.


On Sept. 5, Guinea’s controversial President Alpha Condé was deposed from power by an elite military group led by Col. Mamady Doumbouya that was established in 2018 to battle growing terrorist threats in the region.

Doumbouya wants to be seen as a defender of democracy against one-man rule, paraphrasing in his first televised public address sentiments of the late Ghanaian military strongman-turned-President Jerry Rawlings: “If the people are crushed by their elites, it is up to the army to give the people their freedom,” Doumbouya said.

Coming on the heels of successful coups in neighboring Mali and Chad, and an unsuccessful attempt in Niger, the coup has revived fears of military governments.

In line with its zero-tolerance policy toward military takeovers, the African Union suspended Guinea on Sept. 10, two days after ...


To continue reading this Commentary, please visit the original publisher: The Foreign Policy website (published on 20 September 2021, 17:46).

About the Author

Programme Officer
Adem Kassie Abebe

Adem Kassie Abebe supports constitution-building processes around the world, and designs and implements projects particularly in transitions to peace and democracy in politically complex and fragile contexts. He convens platforms for dialogue, advises and provides technical assistance to high level constitution and decision makers at national and international levels and to civil society stakeholders. He was an editor of and managed ConstitutionNet from 2016 to 2021, an online platform providing continuous updates on comparative constitutional reform processes around the world. A notable feature of ConstitutionNet is 'Voices from the Field', a series in which local experts provide analysis and updates on the process, content and principal actors in ongoing constitutional-reform proposals.