‘Four Israelis held in Guinea for plotting coup’

French newspaper says quartet were allegedly involved in inciting political unrest in the African republic ahead of elections last Saturday

Children in Guinea (photo credit: Haypo/Wikipedia Commons)
Children in Guinea (photo credit: Haypo/Wikipedia Commons)

Four Israeli mercenaries were arrested in Guinea last Wednesday on charges of planning a coup to overthrow Guinean President Alpha Condé, the French newspaper Le Canard Enchaîné reported.

The four are being held at the island of Casa north of the capital Conakry, which serves as a prison for political activists, according to the report.

Guinean’s parliamentary elections, which took place Saturday and marked the country’s transition to democracy following a 2008 military coup, were fraught with tensions and uprisings, with dozens reported killed, which Le Canard Enchaîné attributed to foreign involvement.

The newspaper based its findings on intelligence documents from the CIA and DSGE (the French General Directorate for External Security) showing that Israeli, French and South African mercenaries had been involved in planning a coup to overthrow Condé.

Guinea's President Alpha Conde (photo credit: World Economic Forum/Wikipedia Commons)
Guinea’s President Alpha Conde (photo credit: World Economic Forum/Wikipedia Commons)

According to the intelligence files dated September 13 and quoted by the French newspaper, the mercenaries aimed to provoke the Guinean police and armed forces to hurt citizens in order to incite political unrest in the West African republic ahead of the elections.

The intelligence reports, said the newspaper, recount the mercenaries’ plans to finance opposition parties and recruit members of the Fula tribe, a local ethnic minority that is hostile to the Guinean president, in order to spark violent demonstrations.

The Israelis were reportedly arrested late Wednesday by armed Guinean military personnel.

Overall, initial reports said, Saturday’s legislative elections passed peacefully, with an estimated five million Guineans voting.

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