ECOWAS imposes sanctions on Guinea’s military government over coup

ECOWAS imposes sanctions on Guinea’s military government over coup

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West Africa’s main regional bloc, ECOWAS, has imposed sanctions on the military government in Guinea, in a move aimed at putting more pressure for it to restore constitutional rule in the country within six months. The decision on sanctions was made in a second emergency summit of West African States in Accra, Ghana on Thursday, where the bloc also decided to freeze the financial assets and impose travel bans for junta members and their relatives, and demanded they return the country to constitutional rule within six months.
“In six months elections should be held…” ECOWAS Commission President Jean-Claude Kassi Brou said in a briefing

The summit was the second meeting by the leaders of the 15-nation sub-regional bloc since the military take-over. The Presidents of Togo, Niger, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, and Senegal are among those who attended the meeting. Nigeria was represented by its vice president, while the rest of the countries had their foreign ministers attending. Regional leaders who took part in the summit also called for the immediate release of President Alpha Conde, who was ousted in the recent military take-over. An ECOWAS delegation last Friday said that ousted President Alpha Conde was in good health; the bloc’s Commission President Jean-Claude Kassi Brou said he had seen Conde and that he was “well.”

Soldiers behind the September 5 coup have said they ousted Conde because of
concerns about poverty and corruption, and because he was serving a third term
after amending the constitution to permit it. ECOWAS has maintained that it will
impose penalties on Guinea’s military rulers unless they immediately release
Conde, who has been held at an undisclosed location since the coup.

Coup leaders in Guinea have not said how long the transitional government will last, or who will lead it. However, the junta led by Col Mamady Doumbouya, a former member of the French Foreign Legion, is holding consultations this week with various public figures, groups and business leaders in the country to map a framework for the transition. As part of the four-day consultation, the junta on Thursday met with Guinea’s main business lobby and executives of mining firms operating in its bauxite, gold, iron ore and diamond sectors. Late on Thursday they said they were also expecting a delegation of regional heads of state to visit Conakry for talks on Friday.

The military take-over has sparked sharp reactions across the region, with ECOWAS
suspending Guinea’s membership from the bloc, urging a quick return to
constitutional rule. In most recent global reactions to the coup, the International
Monetary Fund on Thursday said it was closely monitoring the situation in Guinea
and called for a peaceful resolution.

According to the post-summit communique on Thursday, ECOWAS also piled more
pressure on Mali’s transitional government, demanding they stick to an agreement
to organize elections for February 2022 and present an electoral roadmap by next
month.

Anyone in Mali hindering preparations for the elections will likely face the same sanctions as those imposed in Guinea. Various leaders at the summit on Thursday hailed the decisions that resulted from the emergency discussions.

“I welcome the strong actions of the summit to safeguard democracy, peace, security and stability in the subregion,” Senegalese President Macky Sall tweeted. West and Central Africa has seen four coups since last year, revealing what seems like a political upheaval that has reportedly created more concerns about a backslide towards military rule.

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