(CNN) — A Guinean army officer issued a statement on Sunday announcing that the African country’s constitution had been dissolved in an apparent coup.
“We will no longer entrust politics to a man. We will entrust it to the people. We came only for that; it is the duty of a soldier to save the country,” Mamady Doumbouya, an officer in the Guinean army, says in the video.
An adviser to President Alpha Conde told CNN that Conde is under arrest and a coup has taken place in the West African country.
The location of the 83-year-old, who won a hotly contested election last year, is unclear.
In the video, Doumbouya, in a special forces uniform, says that they arrested Conde and suspended the constitution, the government and all other institutions. He also announced the closure of land and air borders. The video has been widely circulated and reported by local media.
In a later update that was broadcast on state television, army officials declared a nationwide curfew and said Conde was unharmed.
“We want to reassure the national and international community that the physical and moral integrity of the former president (Alpha Conde) is not threatened,” a military official said, according to a translation published by Reuters. “We take all necessary measures so that he has access to medical care and is in contact with his doctors.”
No clear evidence of Conde’s condition was provided and CNN has not been able to verify the military official’s claims.
Officers went on to say that a nationwide curfew had been declared. “The curfew is implemented from 8 pm, throughout the country, and this until further notice,” an official said, reading a statement.
The officials also invited outgoing ministers and former institution heads to a meeting at 11 am on Monday.
“Any lack of assistance will be considered a rebellion against the CNRD,” they said, referring to the group’s name, which is French for National Rally and Development Committee.
Gunfire erupted in Conakry, Guinea’s capital, on Sunday in what appeared to be an attempted coup, according to multiple social media posts and witnesses who spoke to CNN.
Heavily armed soldiers were present in the Kaloum area of Conakry, the site of many government buildings, according to videos shared on social media.
A widely circulated video appeared to show Conde surrounded by Guinean soldiers.
early in the day, the british embassy in conakry he warned that there was “sustained shooting in several places in Conakry” and asked people to remain vigilant and avoid moving.
“It’s time for us to understand each other, to join hands, to sit down, to write a constitution that suits our realities, capable of solving our problems,” Doumbouya said in the video.
Another video circulating on social media showed some Guineans cheering on military vehicles and waving flags in the capital.
CNN has not independently verified the authenticity of the videos.
The US State Department has warned that the apparent coup could make it difficult for Guinea’s international partners to support it.
“Violence and any extra-constitutional measures will only erode Guinea’s prospects for peace, stability and prosperity,” the department said in a statement on Sunday. “These actions could limit the ability of the United States and Guinea’s other international partners to support the country on its path to national unity and a brighter future for the Guinean people.”
In a statement released on Sunday, the African Union (AU) condemned what it called a “power grab”.
AU President HE Felix Tshisekedi and AU Commission Chairman HE Moussa Faki Mahamat called for the “immediate release of President Alpha Conde,” according to the statement.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also called for Conde’s release, as reports of the apparent coup unfolded.
“Personally, I am closely following the situation in Guinea. I strongly condemn any takeover of the government by force of arms and call for the immediate release of President Alpha Conde,” said Guterres in a tweet on Sunday.
Count won the presidency in 2010taking control of a military junta that had been in power since 2008. The 2010 presidential election was the first in the republic’s 52-year history.
The apparent coup attempt in Guinea follows a successful coup in Mali in August 2020, when the military ousted the elected government.
CNN’s Saskya Vandoorne, Sharif Paget and Susannah Cullinane contributed to this report.