Ecowas suspends Guinea, announces mediation mission

Thursday September 09 2021
Ecowas Commission president Jean-Claude Kassi Brou.

Ecowas Commission president Jean-Claude Kassi Brou during a virtual summit on September 8, 2021. PHOTO | COURTESY | ECOWAS


The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) has suspended Guinea from the bloc over the weekend coup, Burkina Faso’s Foreign Affairs Minister Alpha Barry said.

The decision was taken on Wednesday at a virtual summit of heads of state and government of the West African regional group.

The leaders of the 15-member bloc also resolved to send a high-level mission to the capital Conakry on Thursday, according to Mr Barry.

An elite group of special forces soldiers seized power in Guinea on Sunday, accusing President Alpha Conde of corruption and maladministration.

Mr Conde has ruled over the country for 11 years.

Armed Forces

Members of the Armed Forces of Guinea drive through the central neighbourhood of Kaloum in Conakry on September 5, 2021 after sustainable gunfire was heard. PHOTO | AFP



The presidents of Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Senegal were among leaders who attended the meeting on Wednesday, which was chaired by Nana Akufo-Addo Dankwa, the Ghanaian President and Ecowas chairman.

The leaders called for the return to civilian rule and the immediate and unconditional release of Mr Conde, who has been in detention since the soldiers took over.

The suspension means that Guinea will have no say and will not participate on any Ecowas decision making process.

The leaders fell short of imposing sanctions on Guinea.

However, the bloc may re-examine its position on the basis of the findings of the planned mediation mission, Mr Barry said.


The Ecowas decision comes as the putschists began releasing political prisoners, and coup leader Mamady Doumbouya’s promised to form a transitional government of national unity.

About a 100 political prisoners detained by the former president were released on Tuesday evening, according to reports.

They were detained for participating in mass protests against Mr Conde’s bid for a controversial third term.

Opposition leader, Cellou Dalein Diallo, Mr Conde’s main contender in the country’s last three elections, has welcomed the change of government, expressing hope this week that it presented a new opportunity for open democracy in Guinea.