• ECOWAS has suspended Guinea following a coup against Alpha Conde
• The bloc says it will send a mediator to Conakry tomorrow
• The suspension was reached after a virtual summit of Heads of State today
West African regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, has suspended Guinea following a September 5 coup that ousted President Alpha Conde.
Chairman of ECOWAS, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, convened a virtual summit today (September 8) at which the Guinean issue was discussed among Heads of State and representatives of the African Union and United Nations.
WHiles the bloc has yet to release a formal statement, the suspension has been confirmed by Burkinabe Foreign Minister Alpha Barry, whose President Roch Marc Kabore was in the meeting, according to GhanaWeb’s monitoring.
ECOWAS will also send a mediation mission to Guinea on Thursday, Barry further confirmed to journalists in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou.
The bloc has yet to name the mediator who will be heading to Mali and details of their mission.
Hours after the coup, ECOWAS chair issued a stern statement which read in part: “ECOWAS demands respect for the physical safety of the President of the Republic, Professor Alpha Condé, and his immediate and unconditional release, as well as that of all arrested persons. ECOWAS also demands a return to constitutional order or pain of sanctions.
“ECOWAS reaffirms its objection to any unconstitutional political change. We ask the Guinean defense and security forces to remain in a constitutional posture, and express our solidarity with the Guinean people and their Government.”
Brief of how the coup unfolded
Pictures and a video of President Alpha Conde surrounded by masked, gun-weilding soldier started circulating on social media before local and international media confirmed a coup had taken place.
Conde, whose exact whereabouts remain unknown, was detained before one colonel Mamady Doumbouya of the Elite Forces announced that the soldiers had taken over the government citing mismanagement and corruption.
Conde came to power in 2010 and won re-election in 2015. But in October 2020, when he was supposed to step down, he won a controversial third term after pushing through a new constitution in March 2020 allowing him to overturn the country’s two-term limit.
His actions had been condemned by the opposition and described as an abuse of power.
Conde’s inauguration was graced by prominent personalities across the world including Presidents from the African continent.
Other recent military takeovers preceding the one in Guinea were in Mali and Chad.