The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has suspended Guinea after soldiers seized power from President Alpha Conde in a coup d’etat.
This decision was taken in a virtual meeting by member states on September 8.
In the meeting chaired by ECOWAS Chairman, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana, it has been agreed that a mediator will be sent to Mali to resolve the conflict.
Speaking to the press after the meeting, Burkinabe Foreign Minister Alpha Barry said 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 Conde, 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 posture, and express our solidarity with the Guinean people and their Government.”
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.
Pictures and a video of President Alpha Conde surrounded by masked, gun-weilding soldier 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.