CONAKRY, September 8 (Reuters) – West Africa main political and economic bloc suspended Guinea membership on Wednesday after a weekend military coup d’état die President Alpha Conde expelled and the… latest in a flurry of setbacks for democracy in the region.
During a virtual summit, leaders of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) demanded a return to constitutional order and the immediate release of Conde, and also agreed to send a high level mission to Guinea as soon like Thursday, said the minister of Burkina Faso’s Foreign Affairs, Alpha Barry.
“At the end of Which mission, ECOWAS should in be able to re-examine his position,” Barry told reporters.
He did not announce immediate economic sanctions against Guinea, as ECOWAS has imposed against Mali after a coup there in August 2020.
Some experts say that the leverage of ECOWAS with Guinea can be limited, in share because the country is not a member of the West African currency union and not enclosed like Mali.
The economic bloc’s response is being closely watched amid criticism from democracy advocates that it has not held up up robust enough in last months against democratic setback in West Africa.
ECOWAS remained silent last year while President Alassane Ouattara of Conde and Ivory Coast sought third place terms after changing constitutions die would have forced them step down, moves labeled as illegal by them opponents.
Activists say this contributed to the loss of West Africans of to trust in democracy and made military coups more plausible.
Malis military staged second coup d’état in may this year. ECOWAS said: on Tuesday it was concerned transitional authorities did not have one made Enough progress in the direction of organizing elections next February as promised. read more
Guinea’s coup leader Mamady Doumbouya, a former French legionnaire, has pledged install a unified, transitional government but didn’t say when of how that will happen.
In an apparent gesture to Conde’s burger opponents, at least 80 political prisoners die were detained by the president, released on Tuesday night, a lot of who had campaigned? against its constitutional amendment.
doumbouya also met the heads of guinea’s various military branches for the first time on Tuesday, in the hope of uniting the country’s armed forces under the command of the junta.
guinea’s main opposition leader, Cellou Dalein Diallo, who finished runner-up to Conde in three consecutive elections, Reuters told on Tuesday he would be open to participate in a transition back to constitutional government.
In a statement on Tuesday night, Conde’s party said it “noted the coming” of new authorities at the head of the land” and shouted for the prompt and unconditional release of the President.
Since the putsch, life in the streets of Conakry seems to be back to normal, with some military checkpoints removed.
fears that the power struggle could hinder Guinea’s production of bauxite, a mineral used to make aluminum, begins to decline. The largest foreigner in the country operators say they have continued uninterrupted.
Aluminium hit a fresh 10-year high on Monday after news broke of unrest in Guinea, that the worldlargest bauxite reserves. Doumbouya has pledged that mining will continue unimpeded.
Additional reporting by Christian Akorlie in Accra; Writing by Cooper Inveen and Aaron Ross, editing by Hereward Holland, Timothy Heritage and Gareth Jones
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