| (CNN) -- The West African country of Guinea has been thrown into confusion |
by the death of President Lansana Conte, who ruled the country for nearly 25 years.
Lansana Conte came to power in a military coup in 1984.
An army captain announced Tuesday what appeared to be a military coup,
but the prime minister later said the government was functioning.
Soldiers are out in force, including around the offices of the president and
prime minister, local journalist Barry Minkalou told CNN. The streets are calm,
with no reports of injuries or violence, the reporter said.
A military officer, Captain Foamed Dadis Camara, said Tuesday on national
radio that government and national institutions had been dissolved, according
to Le Jour, a national newspaper.
He said an "advisory council" of civilians and soldiers would be set up.
Prime Minister Ahmed Tidiane Souare later said the government would continue
to function. It is not clear if the government can operate if the military opposes it.
Aboubacar Sompare, president of the National Assembly, announced Conte's death.
"We regret to announce to the people of Guinea the death of Gen. Lansana Conte
after a long illness," Sompare said, according to Le Jour. Conte was 74.
A 40-day period of national mourning has been declared.
Conte came to power in a military coup on April 3, 1984.
Guinea is one of the poorest countries in the world, despite its mineral wealth,
according to the British charity Plan UK. The country hosts large refugee
populations from neighboring Liberia and Ivory Coast.
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