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Guinea Junta suspends membership in regional development group

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Guinea’s ruling junta announced on Tuesday evening that it was suspending its membership of the Organisation for the Development of the Senegal River (OMVS), made up of four West African countries through which the river flows because it “does not take its strategic interests into account”.

The OMVS set up in 1972, is made up of Guinea, Senegal, Mali, and Mauritania. Since its creation, it has implemented several hydro-agricultural and electricity projects in its member countries that share the Senegal River, which rises in Guinean territory.

In a press release issued on Tuesday evening, Conakry “has decided, with effect from today, 18 July 2023, to suspend its participation in the OMVS”, following a conference of heads of state and government “held virtually” on the same day.

“The highest Guinean authorities have noted with regret that the concerns and strategic interests of Guinea’s participation in the OMVS have not always been taken into account by the said organisation since its creation”, states the press release signed by the spokesman for the Guinean presidency, general Amara Camara.

Guinea deplores “the considerable delay in financing the Koukoutamba hydroelectric dam, in the sub-prefecture of TouguĂ©, in the LabĂ© region (north)”. It also notes that it is “under-represented in the decision-making bodies of the OMVS”, whose headquarters are in Dakar.

Conakry claims to have been “at the forefront of the creation and defence of several regional organisations” since its independence from France in 1958. Consequently, “it wishes to be respected in the organisations to which it belongs”, the statement continued.

Guinea became the fourth member of the OMVS when, in 2006, it joined the organisation, which at the time was made up of Senegal, Mauritania, and Mali.

Since 2021, the country has been ruled by a junta that seized power in a putsch. Under international pressure, the military agreed to hand over to elected civilians by the end of 2024.

Africanews with AFP

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