Ghanaian and Ivorian presidents in Guinea put pressure on junta
Posted on Friday, September 17, 2021 | 11:23
Updated 1 hour and 36 minutes ago
CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) – A delegation of West African leaders met with junta leaders in Guinea on Friday, a day after the regional bloc imposed sanctions on military leaders and their families following the coup d’état of this month.
Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo led the delegation that met Colonel Mamady Doumbouya to discuss decisions made by the regional bloc of 15 members, known as ECOWAS. Members of the delegation also lobbied for the release of Guinean President Alpha Condé, who was deposed in the September 5 coup and has been imprisoned since.
Even before the arrival of the delegation, demonstrators opposed to Condé gathered in front of the airport to protest against the involvement of ECOWAS. Many Guineans questioned the role of ECOWAS, saying it did not put enough pressure on Condé when he changed the country’s constitution to allow himself to run for a third term.
After a summit Thursday in Ghana’s capital Accra, the bloc imposed travel bans and froze the financial assets of members of Guinea’s ruling junta and their families. They also insisted on a swift transition to elections.
The targeted sanctions come after Guinean military leaders set a number of conditions for Condé’s release, according to Ghana’s foreign minister, who did not give further details. The junta, which met with business and political leaders this week, had not reacted to the sanctions before the meetings.
Doumbouya sought to reassure the mining industry, Guinea’s most vital economic sector, that political changes will not impact existing mining in the country – which has the largest bauxite reserves in the country. world.
The coup leaders have yet to make public their proposed timetable for handing over power to a transitional civilian government, nor have they indicated how quickly new elections can be held.
Condé had sparked violent street protests last year after pushing for a constitutional referendum he was using to justify his candidacy for a third term, saying term limits no longer applied to him. He won another five years in power last October, only to be overthrown in the coup 10 months later.
When he came to power in 2010, he was the first democratically elected Guinean leader since independence from France in 1958.
The regional bloc is also trying to address concerns about whether a second member state, Mali, is making enough progress towards a return to democracy more than a year after a military takeover there.
N’Gotta reported from Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.