It was excitement in Guinea on Sunday as soldiers seized power in a military coup from President Alpha Conde following hours of heavy gunfire near the presidential palace in the capital, Conakry.
The TV address featured nine unnamed soldiers, several draped in the red, gold and green national flag, who said they had taken over because of rampant corruption, mismanagement and poverty.
After the staged coup, the unnamed soldiers said that they are National Committee for Reconciliation and Development.
According to them, the constitution had been dissolved and that there would be consultations to create a new, more inclusive one.
However, the defense ministry said the attempted takeover had been thwarted by the presidential guard though reports say the coup was led by an elite unit headed by a former French legionnaire, Lt Col Mamady Doumbouya.
UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres and the African Union condemned the apparent coup and demanded the immediate release of President Condé.
In a video clip which has not yet been verified, soldiers ask President Condé, 83, to confirm he is unharmed but he refuses to respond.
Sitting barefoot on a sofa wearing jeans and a printed shirt, he does not have any visible injuries. His current whereabouts are unknown.
Guineans left in Cerebrations after news of the seizing of President Alpha Conde
Those behind the coup said that all land and air borders had been closed for a week.
Earlier, the only bridge connecting the mainland to the Kaloum peninsular, which houses most ministries and the presidential palace, was sealed off while many soldiers, some heavily armed, were posted around the palace, a military source told Reuters news agency.
There are unconfirmed reports that three soldiers have been killed.
Following the news, opposition supporters and activists took to the streets in celebration.
“We are here to show our joy because we suffered a lot over time,” Abdoulaye Oumou Sow said. “We have been very patient.”
In their televised announcement, the so-called National Committee for Reconciliation and Development made all the right noises.
For those frustrated by last year’s constitutional change that allowed President Alpha Condé to run for a third term, news that the constitution would now be scrapped and replaced in consultation with the public has been warmly welcomed.
Already there are reports of crowds of opposition supporters and activists taking to the streets of Conakry, to celebrate.
But military juntas are notoriously fickle. With no-one to hold them to account, there’s no guarantee they’ll deliver on their promises.
There are also those who worry that this latest coup is further evidence of a gradual degradation of democratic values in the region.
Conde had been in power for more than a decade and had sought his third term in 2020 saying that term limits did not apply to him.