AFRICA/GUINEA - The questions about the failed attack against the President

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Conakry (Agenzia Fides) - In the early morning hours of July 19 a commando attacked with rocket launchers and automatic weapons the residence of the President of the Republic of Guinea, Alpha Conde, in an area in the Conakry capital. The attack lasted about 3 hours and the assailants were rejected by the Presidential Guard, causing deaths and injuries. "The President minimizes the episode, stating that a coup d’etat cannot be carried out with 6 pick-ups, and believes that is was a private vendetta" says a source from the local Church to Fides, that for security reasons does not want to be mentioned. "The reactions of the embassies in Canakry and the timely declaration of support for the President of the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, instead, witnesses that within the international community there is strong concern. Ban Ki-moon did not act so promptly even during the terrible crisis in Guinea. So why is there this strong support on behalf of the UN Secretary General towards the President, whereas the latter minimizes the attack? " asks our source. The highest representatives of the Catholic and Anglican Church have immediately spoken with the President to express their support.
"In the recent history of Guinea, the army played a decisive role", recalls the source of Fides. "Conde has taken upon himself the Ministry of Defense, this means he has seriously taken into consideration the problem of the army. The military has received various benefits during the period of transition towards democracy. For example, in Conakry, we see several new houses that belong to the military. There has therefore been a great investment in the army, probably from France, to ensure stability. In fact, during the transition period the army did not move and allowed the execution of the election " emphasizes the source of Fides.
Former Army Chief of Staff, General Nouhou Thiam, was arrested in connection with the assault of the President’s residence on July 19. "It could have been a real coup attempt, or perhaps an intimidating move against Conde by some sector of the army. These are questions that remain open", says the source of Fides, which highlights the key role played by Claude Pivi Coplan, head of the security apparatus, in recent events.
"According to some sources, Coplan himself warned the President not to return home the evening of the attack. Coplan was head of the security apparatus for Moussa Daddis Camara and then for Sékouba Konate (the first is the author of the coup in December 2008, then ousted after an attack, the second was the President of transition) and was reconfirmed in this role by Conde " emphasizes the source of Fides. "The fact that there are no specific requests by the army may indicate that there are more complex games involved and we are at the beginning of a process that may be of concern", concludes the source of Fides. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 20/07/2011)