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Guinea's junta leader Mamady Doumbouya promoted to general amidst political transition

AP   -  
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The leader of Guinea's ruling junta, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, has been granted the rank of general, according to an announcement made by the presidency on social media.

Colonel Doumbouya, 43, assumed control of Guinea following the ousting of the country's first democratically elected president, Alpha Conde, in September 2021. Initially appointed by Conde to lead the special forces group tasked with safeguarding the head of state from potential coups, Doumbouya later orchestrated the September 2021 coup, contributing to a series of political upheavals in West Africa since 2020, including incidents in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger.

Sworn in as president for a designated transitional period, Doumbouya pledged to implement comprehensive reforms in Guinea, a nation still grappling with poverty despite its abundant natural resources.

In a meeting on Tuesday, Doumbouya convened with all of Guinea's military units, engaging with over 450 members of the Defence and Security Forces, as highlighted by the presidency on social media. The statement revealed that the entire Defense and Security Forces expressed their collective desire to witness the head of state elevated to the rank of general.

Initially hesitating "in his usual humility," Doumbouya eventually accepted the prestigious position, as reported by the presidency. Concurrently, he disclosed his decision to step down as commander of the special forces group, with his deputy, Lieutenant Colonel Mouctar Kaba, poised to assume the role.

Under international scrutiny, the junta has committed to relinquishing governmental control to elected civilians within a two-year timeframe. However, critics from the opposition allege an authoritarian shift within the junta's administration.

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