President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday opened a virtual emergency meeting of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to discuss and respond to the political situation in Guinea.
In his opening remarks, President Akufo-Addo, who is the Chair of ECOWAS, described the ousting of Guinean President Alpha Conde last Sunday by an elite army unit of the country as “regrettable and unfortunate”.
He said the development was a clear violation of ECOWAS common charter of good governance in the region.
Representatives of the United Nations, the African Union and other stakeholders are participating in the meeting, which has since gone into plenary.
The bloc is expected to leverage the meeting to reinforce its objection to the unconstitutional political change in that country, and the need for actors in the political situation to abide by Guinea’s constitutional dictates and the rule of law.
A communique, according to the Communications Director at the Office of the President, Eugene Arhin, will be issued after the deliberations.
Soldiers, led by a former French Legionnaire, Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, announced last Sunday that they had seized power, arrested 83-year old President Conde, and suspended the constitution of the West African nation.
Col Mamady Doumbouya assured ministers who served in Mr Condé’s government that there would be no witch-hunt against former officials.
President Condé remains in detention, but his fate is unclear.
The UN, African Union and ECOWAS have condemned the coup, and called for a return to civilian rule.
“I strongly condemn any takeover of the government by force of the gun and call for the immediate release of President Alpha Condé,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres tweeted.
Col Doumbouya, who heads the army’s Special Forces Unit, did not say on Monday when the new government would be in place.
“A consultation will be launched to set down the broad parameters of the transition, and then a government of national union will be established to steer the transition,” he said in his statement.
He told former ministers that they could not leave the country, and had to hand over their official vehicles to the military. He also announced the re-opening of land and air borders.