Russia Calls For 'Immediate' Release of Guinea's President Conde
10:27 GMT 06.09.2021 (Updated: 11:07 GMT 06.09.2021)
© REUTERS / SALIOU SAMBSpecial forces members are seen during an uprising that led to the toppling of president Alpha Conde in Kaloum neighbourhood of Conakry, Guinea September 5, 2021
© REUTERS / SALIOU SAMB
Guinea's presidential palace had come under attack on 5 August with the country's rebel forces capturing President Alpha Conde in what appeared to be a military coup.
Moscow has called for an "immediate" release of Guinean President Alpha Conde, who was captured by rebel forces on Sunday.
"Moscow opposes any attempts to unconstitutionally change power," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Conde's political immunity should be guaranteed, as photos had previously shown the 83-year-old president surrounded by "military rebels", apparently right in his presidential palace.
The situation in Guinea should return to the "constitutional track", the ministry said in the statement.
Russia called for all political forces in Guinea to refrain from actions that could provoke further violence and "make an effort to achieve peaceful settlement through negotiations."
Guinian authorities said on Sunday that military rebels led by Mamady Doumbouya, a former French legionnaire, surrounded the presidential palace and detained Conde, who is now serving his third presidential term following the October 2020 election, which they allege was sabotaged by the opposition. Conde was able to run for a third time after amending the country's constitution via a national referendum.
In the aftermath of the coup, Doumbouya announced the dissolution of the government, the suspension of the constitution and the closure of Guinea's borders.
The rebel group branded itself the National Rally and Development Committee (CNRD) and pledged to ensure "the safety of peaceful citizens as well as their property".
The rebels also declared a nationwide curfew from 8 pm on Sunday.
CNRD had invited outgoing ministers and top officials to a Monday meeting, adding in a statement that "any refusal to attend will be considered a rebellion" against the group.
© REUTERS / STRINGERResidents cheer at army soldiers as they celebrate the uprising in Conakry, Guinea September 5, 2021
Residents cheer at army soldiers as they celebrate the uprising in Conakry, Guinea September 5, 2021
© REUTERS / STRINGER
Doumbouya said on Sunday that the president was in a safe location with the rebels and had been checked by a doctor.
"We have taken all measures to ensure that he [Conde] has access to healthcare and that he is also in contact with his doctors," the CNRD said on Sunday.
The coup has been widely condemned worldwide. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have all demanded the release of the country's president.