APA – Conakry (Guinea) – At a time when West African juntas are struggling to gain legitimacy in the eyes of the international community, the president of Guinea’s transitional government attempted to bring the voice of Africa to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
More than two weeks after celebrating the second anniversary of his coming to power in Guinea, Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya took to the podium of the United Nations on Thursday, as part of the 78th session of the General Assembly in New York, USA. Dressed all in white before the world’s leaders, the Guinean transitional president tried to justify the legitimacy of the coups d’Etat that have multiplied over the last three years on the continent, more specifically in West Africa.
“I want it to be clear that the real coup plotters, the most numerous, who are not the subject of any condemnation, are also those who manipulate, who use trickery, who cheat to manipulate the texts of the constitution in order to remain in power forever. It is those in white collar jobs who change the rules of the game during the game to keep the reins of the country. These are the most numerous putschists,” declared Mamadi Doumbouya, former head of Special Forces in Guinea, where on 5 September 2021 he led the commando unit that overthrew democratically elected President Alpha Conde.
Alpha Condé had just been re-elected in 2020, at the age of 82, following a controversial constitutional amendment allowing him to run for a third term, which some have described as an “institutional coup d’Etat.” The events leading up to his re-election in the first round, with 59.5 percent of the vote, were punctuated by violently repressed opposition demonstrations. The octogenarian president was deposed eleven months later and is now in exile in Turkey.
Responsibility and “infantilization”
“We decided to assume our responsibilities in order to avoid complete chaos and insurrection for our country,” Mamadi Doumbouya defended himself, recalling that, despite the “excesses” of the former regime, “no political force, all completely neutralized at the time, had the courage or the means to put an end to the imposture we were living through.”
In these conditions, “the institutional rectification to which my brothers in arms and I committed ourselves on 5 September 2021 was simply a consequence of this situation of chaos that had ended up cracking the social fabric and damaging our ability to live together,” he explained.
While he refused to apply the sanctions imposed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and other international organizations against the juntas in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, the Guinean leader pointed out that the transitions underway in Africa are due to a number of factors, including “broken promises, the people being lulled to sleep, and the fiddling of constitutions by leaders whose only concern is to remain in power indefinitely, to the detriment of the collective well-being.”
However, “the African people are more awake than ever and have decided to take their destiny into their own hands,” recalled the former French legionnaire, before taking aim at the model of governance imposed on Africa, which “is not adapted to the continent.”
“It’s time to take our rights into account, to give us our place. But also, and above all, it’s time to stop lecturing us, to stop treating us like children. Rest assured, we are old enough to know what is good for us. We are mature enough to define our priorities, to design our own model that corresponds to our identity, to the reality of our populations, to who we are quite simply,” Mamadi Doumbouya told the international community.