Guinea’s strongman Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, who seized power last month, has sacked 42 generals and admirals in an apparent purge of the military top brass.
The army officers,including the head of the army, chief of the general staff of the armed forces general Namory Traoré, and the head of the gendarmerie (military police), Ibrahima Baldé, were forced to retire.
Also retired is former military president General Sekouba Konate.
The heads of all the wings in the armed forces were retired and replaced with low-ranking officers.
The announcement was made on Tuesday, via statements from the presidency, invoking presidential decrees.
In a separate statement, Col. Doumbouya also appointed 28 of the retired generals to the High Council of National Defence, the body in charge of national security matters.
The changes in the army come two weeks after Doumbouya was sworn into office as transition president. Last week he announced a new Prime Minister to head the process of transitioning the country to civilian rule.
Political analysts see the move to retire the generals as an attempt by Doumbouya to assert control on the army, which is thought to be loyal to Conde. Most of the top generals who were retired are known to be allies of the former president.
Among those appointed to the High National Defence Council is General Konate, who had earlier endorsed the coup.
Konate served as interim president of Guinea from December 2009 to December 2010. Prior to that he was the second in command of the National Council for Democracy and Development junta, which had seized power in 2008 following the death of President Lansana Konteh. He replaced the then coup leader, Mousa Dadis Camara, after he was shot on the head and flown out of the country for medical treatment in a failed assassination bid.
Konate subsequently presided over Guinea’s first democratic elections in 2010, through which Conde came to power. He was appointed to head the AU’s military forces shortly after handing over power to Conde.
The new top four heads of the armed forces are Colonel Sadiba Coulibaly, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces; Colonel Ahmed Mohamed Oury Diallo, Deputy Chief of The General Staff of the Armed Forces; Colonel Balla Koïvogui, Chief of Staff of the Army; and Colonel Ibrahima Sory Bangoura, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army.
Source: Nation Media Group