The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has slammed the overthrow of Guinean President, Alpha Conde, and is demanding his immediate release.

This followed earlier reports of heavy gunfire in Conakry near the presidential palace though it was unclear who was responsible. Guinea’s defence ministry said that an attack by mutinous special forces on the presidential palace had been repelled, though it was not immediately clear who held power.

In a statement, ECOWAS chairperson, Nana Akufo-Addo stated that they object to any unconstitutional political change

“ECOWAS demands respect for the physical safety of the President of the Republic, Professor Alpha Condé, and his immediate and unconditional release, as well as that of all arrested persons. ECOWAS also demands a return to constitutional order on the pain of sanctions.

“ECOWAS reaffirms its objection to any unconstitutional political change. We ask the Guinean defense and security forces to remain in a constitutional posture and express our solidarity with the Guinean people and their Government.”

The special force’s officers warned that anybody who failed to appear would be regarded as a rebel.

In a broadcast on state TV, they said regional governors have been replaced by military commanders, and the ousted president, Alpha Condé, was safe but in detention.

An indefinite nationwide curfew is in force. The coup has been condemned by the United Nations and African Union.

The head of Special Forces, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, said his soldiers had seized power because they want to end rampant corruption and mismanagement.

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