Following the overthrow of Alpha Conde by elite unit soldiers led by Col Col Mamady Doumbouya on Sunday, ECOWAS has decided to suspend Guinea from the West African Bloc.
Alpha Conde who had spent almost a year on his third team as the Guinea’s president lost his presidential seat by Special forces led by Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya afer seizing power in the West African state on Sunday and arrested President Alpha Conde hence sparking international condemnation.
Guinea has sparked fears of democratic backsliding across West Africa — where military strongmen are an increasingly familiar sight.
Last year, Mali the Sahel state also suffered two coups since August led by Colonel Assimi Goita, who was also a Special Forces commander.
Leaders from the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) held an extraordinary video summit to discuss the turmoil in Guinea on Wednesday.
After the meeting, ECOWAS said in statement regional leaders decided “to suspend Guinea from all ECOWAS decision-making bodies with immediate effect.”
The bloc also demanded that Guinea’s military release Conde and held the coup plotters responsible for the ousted leader’s physical safety.
A high-level ECOWAS mission will be dispatched immediately, the statement reads.
Doumbouya, hours after taking power in the capital Conakry, appeared on television and accused the Conde government of “endemic corruption” and of “trampling on citizens’ rights”.
He pledged to open talks on forming a new government, but it is not yet clear when, or under what form, these may take place.
“The government to be installed will be that of national unity and will ensure this political transition,” Doumbouya tweeted.
Guinea’s military on Tuesday freed about 80 political opponents of Conde’s who had been detained during the turbulent electoral period.
Ismael Conde, one of the detainees, said upon his release that he was praying for a “new era for Guinea”.
“We are leaving invigorated to continue the struggle for a free and democratic Guinea,” he added.
The coup has triggered broad diplomatic condemnation, including from the African Union, European Union and the United States.
President Yoweri Museveni has also condemned the coup d’état that happened in Guinea on Sunday, describing it as “a step backwards”. He said the coup leaders should face sanctions and “get out”.
“That’s unfortunate and it is a step backwards. Those military coups are of low value, we had them in the 1960s, and they were part of Africa’s problems. I condemn the coup, I don’t accept the idea of coups, they are not a solution,” he said in an interview with France 24’s Marc Perelman on Wednesday.
“They should get out, they should be told to go away because they are not a solution to problems of the country,” Mr Museveni added.
Alpha Conde was also among the presidents that witnessed the swearing-in ceremony of President Museveni on May 12, as he extended his rule to four decades.