Chaos Reigns in Guinea as Coup Leaders Assert Power

Junior officers strengthen control over government
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2008 12:45 PM CST
Chaos Reigns in Guinea as Coup Leaders Assert Power
The death of Guinea's president, Lansana Conte, had been expected for some time but the leader didn't chart a course for choosing a successor.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Junior military officers appointed their coup leader as president of Guinea, even as their superiors denied that the so-called putsch had succeeded. Coup leaders also postponed elections promised in 60 days and said they may have to remain in control for two years, leaving the West African nation teetering between alarm and confusion. Civilian leaders are hiding from roving soldiers, the New York Times reports.

Guinea fell into political turmoil this week after its 24-year ruler died without making plans for a successor. Members of his government say they are still in power and have support from top military brass. The African Union has announced talks to determine its course against the "flagrant violation of the Guinea constitution." France says it opposes an unconstitutional power grab in its former colony.
(More Africa stories.)

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