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Akufo-Addo in Guinea to meet with military leaders

The meeting comes a day after the ECOWAS group imposed travel and financial restrictions on the Guinea coup leaders

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), is in Guinea to meet with that country’s new military leaders.

The meeting comes a day after ECOWAS imposed travel and financial restrictions on the coup leaders.

President Akufo-Addo arrived in Conakry, the Guinean capital, together with Alassane Ouattara, the president of Côte d’Ivoire.

The two leaders are to hold talks with the military leadership in Guinea, led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya.

The discussions will centre largely on the fate of President Alpha Condé, deposed by the military junta on 5 September.

The trip is a follow-up to the recommendations that West African leaders made at the regional body’s extraordinary meeting in Accra on Thursda to confirm a joint position on the political situation in Guinea.

Junta faces sanctions

The coup in Guinea has stoked fears of further political instability in the West African sub-region following the two coups that have taken place in another member state, Mali, since August last year.

ECOWAS had already been pressuring the military junta in Mali to pursue a democratic transition. Similar processes have begun with Guinea, but the coup leaders there were unlikely to discuss a timetable yet, said Ghana’s Foreign Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, speaking on Wednesday.

Botchwey, who led the bloc’s 15-member delegation visiting Guinea today (Friday 17 September), also raised the possibility of sanctions against the West African state.

Nana Akufo-Addo in Guinea

The president of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, said after the emergency summit in Accra on Thursday that the Community had indeed imposed sanctions on Guinea.

Member states, he added, insisted that there was no “need for a very long transition for the country to return to democratic order”.

Following in Mali’s footsteps

Economic sanctions were imposed on the junta in Mali last year, but these were lifted after the regime committed to holding democratic elections in February 2022. With the military still in power, and few signs of transitional arrangements, the prospect of elections next year has become dimmer.

Nana in Guinea

After the announcement of sanctions in Guinea, Kassi Brou also announced new sanctions against those it deemed to be impeding a return to democratic, constitutional rule in Mali, Reuters reported.

The outlook for a return to constitutional rule in Guinea is similarly unclear. The military coup took place after mass demonstrations against President Condé’s controversial new constitution, which allowed him to run for, and win, a third term last October.

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