ECOWAS says first meeting with junta positive

By Oludare Richards, Abuja

12 September 2021   |  
4:05 am

Jean-Claude Kassi Brou PHOTO: ECOWAS<br />

A delegation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has said its first meeting with the Guinean junta that toppled President Alpha Condé has been so far positive. 

Jean-Claude Brou, the ECOWAS Commission head, in Conakry, Guinean capital, said the mission also had the opportunity to meet former President Conde.

Although ECOWAS had earlier indicated moves to de-escalate tensions after the Community initially threatened sanctions against Guinea over the military takeover, the world’s biggest exporter of bauxite, has since been suspended from the bloc, followed by an equal move by the African Union. 

President Brou has, however, declined to give more details about the meeting, saying the delegation still needed to give a report to ECOWAS Heads of state.  

The ousted 83-year-old Condé was reportedly taken from the presidential palace last Sunday by members of an elite army unit, which then took over the state television to announce it was now in charge.

While he is rumoured to still be in detention, he is yet to announce his resignation. 

Conde, who became the first democratically elected president in 2010, was re-elected in 2015. Last year, however, the former president pushed through a constitutional change to allow him run for a third term, a move his opponents countered as illegal.

Guinea’s ruling military came under diplomatic pressure on Friday, as the African Union suspended the country over the coup.

ECOWAS had already suspended Guinea after special forces, led by Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, seized power last Sunday and arrested Conde.

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