What is behind the military coup in Guinea?
In Guinea, the military ousted the country's president, Alpha Condé, on Sunday. Many people celebrated Condé's overthrowal on the streets, but the UN and EU have strongly condemned the coup. Condé came to power in 2010 in the first free elections since Guinea achieved independence in 1958, and was considered a stabilising beacon of hope. However, he has recently come under fire for authoritarianism and human rights violations.
Extremely weak institutions
The protests of the international community will soon die down, Le Monde predicts:
“One only need look across the border to neighbouring Mali to see that two coups within a year have above all led to many turning a blind eye once the initial outcry had subsided. The Malian junta has since forgotten to return power to the civilian population as it promised it would. In both Conakry and Bamako, these coups illustrate the extreme weakness of republican institutions, which can be swept away in the blink of an eye by a few men in uniform.”
International corporations share the blame
The coup can't just be put down to a few daring and power-hungry officers, Africa correspondent Johannes Dietrich stresses in the Badische Zeitung:
“Condé rose to power on the claim that he would serve the people, free them from poverty, strengthen democracy. But the revenues generated in particular by bauxite mining did not benefit the population, but only a handful of the elite. ... And the rest of the world? Its main concern is the price increase of aluminium. Moreover, the authors of the coup could now change mining contracts in their favour. Until now the companies from Russia, China and Europe didn't care whether their payments reached the population or just the pockets of a few. As long as this remains the case, they are also partly responsible for the fiasco.”