By Saliou Samb
A delegation of West African leaders was due in Guinea on Friday to assess the situation following a military coup that ousted President Alpha Condé and raised fears of a backslide towards military rule in the region.
An elite army unit led by Mamady Doumbouya, a former French legionnaire officer, snatched power on Sunday and promised a new start in the West African country, where many had grown weary of Condé’s authoritarian rule.
Leaders from the 15-member Ecowas condemned the coup on Wednesday and called on the military to release Condé, who was arrested during the takeover. read more
They also suspended Guinea’s membership in Ecowas, the region’s main political and economic group, but fell short of threatening sanctions.
Ecowas president Jean-Claude Kassi Brou and Ghana’s foreign affairs minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, will lead the bloc’s delegation in Guinea, but the bloc provided few details.
One high-ranking regional official said Ecowas wanted the junta to appoint a “credible” civilian prime minister as soon as possible to help steer Guinea back towards constitutional order.
The bloc had been due in the Guinean capital, Conakry, on Thursday, but two sources in Guinea’s junta said the delegation was delayed to Friday.
Ecowas did not immediately respond to calls for comment.
Life in the Conakry has started to return to normal, with traffic and street hawkers clogging the streets.
The only roads still manned by military checkpoints were those leading towards the Kaloum peninsula, the capital’s administrative centre and home to the presidential palace.