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ECOWAS holds emergency summit over Guinea coup today

The Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will today, September 8, hold an emergency summit to address political developments in Guinea.

The meeting is to afford President Akufo-Addo and his colleague heads of state in the subregion, the opportunity to marshall out plans to restore constitutional democracy to Guinea, following the country’s last Sunday’s coup.

The Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, announced this to journalists at a media briefing on Tuesday, September 7, indicating that the meeting would be held through a virtual (online) platform.

He said the meeting is, “basically to reaffirm the long-held belief that the ballots and not the bullets should be the only legitimate means of effecting change in the political leadership of any country within the ECOWAS community.”

“Prior to this particular summit as chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority, he (president Akufo-Addo) issued a statement to condemn unreservedly the events in Guinea, and has demanded the respect or physical safety of President Alpha Conde as well as his immediate and unconditional release,” he stated.

Background

Soldiers, led by a Special Forces Colonel, Mamady Doumbouya, announced the overthrow of President Alpha Conde, and the dissolution of the constitution on state TV on Sunday evening [September 4, 2021].

This was after gunshots in Guinea’s capital, Conakry, and subsequent announcement of the closure of the borders, and a nationwide curfew by the coup leader.

The soldiers had said, the regional governors had been replaced by military commanders and that Mr Condé was under arrest.

The leader of the coup, which ousted president Condé has also indicated that it would form a new “union” government in the coming weeks.

The coup in Guinea was the fourth attempted coup in West Africa in the last year, with two military takeovers in Mali and a failed coup in Niger.

UN, AU, ECOWAS condemns Guinea coup, calls for constitutional rule

The United Nations (UN), African Union (AU), and ECOWAS have all 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.

The AU chairperson, Felix Tshisekedi, and the AU Commission chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, further called on the AU Peace and Security Council to meet urgently to examine the new situation in Guinea and to take appropriate measures in the circumstances.

On his part, the ECOWAS Chairman, President Akufo-Addo, in a statement on the matter said, “ECOWAS reaffirms its objection to any unconstitutional political change.”

“We ask the Guinean defence and security forces to remain in a constitutional posture, and express our solidarity with the Guinean people and their government,” he added.

READ ALSO: ECOWAS Condemns Guinea Coup

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