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World Military junta to open talks over Guinea's future post-coup

11:15  14 september  2021
11:15  14 september  2021 Source:   msn.com

Guinea's new junta leaders seek to tighten grip on power

  Guinea's new junta leaders seek to tighten grip on power CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — Guinea's new military leaders sought to tighten their grip on power after overthrowing President Alpha Conde, warning local officials that refusing to appear at a meeting convened Monday would be considered an act of rebellion against the junta. After putting the West African nation back under military rule for the first time in over a decade, the junta said Guinea's governors were to be replaced by regional commanders. A nightly curfew was put in place, and the country's constitution and National Assembly were both dissolved.

CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — Guinea's junta is expected to face more pressure Tuesday to set a timeframe for new elections as the military rulers open a four-day series of meetings about the West African nation's future following the coup just over a week ago.

Women sells vegetables at Kaporo market in Conakry, Guinea Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. Guinea's longtime opposition leader says he welcomes the coup that deposed President Alpha Conde. But Cellou Dalein Diallo is calling on the junta leaders to create a transitional government and a timeline for elections as soon as possible. (AP Photo/ Sunday Alamba) © Provided by Associated Press Women sells vegetables at Kaporo market in Conakry, Guinea Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. Guinea's longtime opposition leader says he welcomes the coup that deposed President Alpha Conde. But Cellou Dalein Diallo is calling on the junta leaders to create a transitional government and a timeline for elections as soon as possible. (AP Photo/ Sunday Alamba)

Concerns are growing about how quickly the junta led by Col. Mamady Doumbouya will give up power to a civilian-led transitional government as called for by regional mediators and the international community.

EXPLAINER: Why is history repeating itself in Guinea's coup?

  EXPLAINER: Why is history repeating itself in Guinea's coup? DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Many hoped that Guinea's landmark 2010 election would finally bring the West African country a democratic leader after decades of corrupt dictatorship. Instead President Alpha Conde decided to stick around for a third term, modifying the constitution so that the term limits no longer applied to him. His plan to extend his rule prompted violent street protests in the capital, Conakry, last year — and ultimately sealed Conde's fate as vulnerable to a military coup.

The coup has been cautiously welcomed by other longtime opponents of deposed President Alpha Conde including Guinea's most prominent opposition figure, Cellou Dalein Diallo, who had lost to the ousted leader in the last three presidential elections.

People shop at Kaporo market in Conakry, Guinea Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. Guinea's longtime opposition leader says he welcomes the coup that deposed President Alpha Conde. But Cellou Dalein Diallo is calling on the junta leaders to create a transitional government and a timeline for elections as soon as possible. (AP Photo/ Sunday Alamba) © Provided by Associated Press People shop at Kaporo market in Conakry, Guinea Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. Guinea's longtime opposition leader says he welcomes the coup that deposed President Alpha Conde. But Cellou Dalein Diallo is calling on the junta leaders to create a transitional government and a timeline for elections as soon as possible. (AP Photo/ Sunday Alamba)

Anger over Conde's quest for a third term last year led to violent street demonstrations, and many in the capital, Conakry, have shown support for the military takeover. How long that lasts could depend on what deals are struck at this week's meetings.

Thousands gather for Crete burial of composer Theodorakis

  Thousands gather for Crete burial of composer Theodorakis Thousands of people have turned out on the southern Greek island of Crete to pay their final respects to Greek music great and politician Mikis Theodorakis, who is to be buried in a village near the city of Chania in accordance with his last wishes. Theodorakis, an integral part of the Greek political and musical scene for decades, died last Thursday in Athens at the age of 96. His body lay in state in a chapel of the Athens Cathedral for three days from Monday to Wednesday, before being transported to Crete by ferry overnight.

Among those taking part are leaders from Guinea’s mining industry, whom the junta leader has sought to reassure in a bid to prevent the destabilization of critical bauxite and gold exports that hold up the country's economy.

A woman sells fabrics at Kaporo market in Conakry, Guinea Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. Guinea's longtime opposition leader says he welcomes the coup that deposed President Alpha Conde. But Cellou Dalein Diallo is calling on the junta leaders to create a transitional government and a timeline for elections as soon as possible. (AP Photo/ Sunday Alamba) © Provided by Associated Press A woman sells fabrics at Kaporo market in Conakry, Guinea Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. Guinea's longtime opposition leader says he welcomes the coup that deposed President Alpha Conde. But Cellou Dalein Diallo is calling on the junta leaders to create a transitional government and a timeline for elections as soon as possible. (AP Photo/ Sunday Alamba)

On Tuesday, the junta kicks off talks by meeting with officials from Diallo's party, the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea, and other critics of Conde. Later it will welcome religious leaders to the People's Palace, where earlier it summoned officials from the ousted government and demanded they hand over their passports and keys to government vehicles.

Why are coups making a comeback in Africa?

  Why are coups making a comeback in Africa? In just over a year, West Africa has experienced three successful coups (two in Mali and one this week in Guinea), one unsuccessful coup attempt in Niger, and an arbitrary military transfer of power in Chad following the assassination of its president. © CELLOU BINANI/AFP/Getty Images People celebrate in the streets with members of Guinea's armed forces after the arrest of Guinea's president, Alpha Conde, in a coup d'etat in Conakry, September 5, 2021. These power grabs threaten a reversal of the democratization process Africa has undergone in the past two decades and a return to the era of coups as the norm.

After wrapping up a visit to Conakry on Monday, the head of the U.N. Office for West Africa and the Sahel said he was placing “a lot of hope” on this week's meetings.

"Because whatever the international community will say or do, the fate of Guinea is what the Guineans themselves will decide," Annadif Khatir Mahamat Saleh said.

Diallo, the three-time presidential candidate, has made clear he'd like to run if new elections are organized. In an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday he called the ousted president a dictator who brought about his own demise because of his defiance of constitutional term limits.

A man buys a chicken at Kaporo market in Conakry, Guinea Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. Guinea's longtime opposition leader says he welcomes the coup that deposed President Alpha Conde. But Cellou Dalein Diallo is calling on the junta leaders to create a transitional government and a timeline for elections as soon as possible. (AP Photo/ Sunday Alamba) © Provided by Associated Press A man buys a chicken at Kaporo market in Conakry, Guinea Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. Guinea's longtime opposition leader says he welcomes the coup that deposed President Alpha Conde. But Cellou Dalein Diallo is calling on the junta leaders to create a transitional government and a timeline for elections as soon as possible. (AP Photo/ Sunday Alamba)

The West African regional bloc known as ECOWAS already has threatened sanctions unless the junta releases the deposed president, as it did last year when a military coup took place in neighboring Mali.

Guinea junta meets rights activists

  Guinea junta meets rights activists Hundreds of Guinean rights activists queued up for an audience with the military junta on Wednesday, AFP journalists saw, after the army seized power in a coup this month. Civil-society leaders were meeting junta members as part of a four-day series of talks intended to pave a return to civilian rule in the West African state. The talks, which began on Tuesday behind closed doors, follow intense diplomatic pressure bearing on Guinea'sCivil-society leaders were meeting junta members as part of a four-day series of talks intended to pave a return to civilian rule in the West African state.

People leave after shopping at Kaporo market in Conakry, Guinea Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. Guinea's longtime opposition leader says he welcomes the coup that deposed President Alpha Conde. But Cellou Dalein Diallo is calling on the junta leaders to create a transitional government and a timeline for elections as soon as possible. (AP Photo/ Sunday Alamba) © Provided by Associated Press People leave after shopping at Kaporo market in Conakry, Guinea Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. Guinea's longtime opposition leader says he welcomes the coup that deposed President Alpha Conde. But Cellou Dalein Diallo is calling on the junta leaders to create a transitional government and a timeline for elections as soon as possible. (AP Photo/ Sunday Alamba)

“I call on them not to sanction Guinea, but to accompany the new authorities in the rapid return to constitutional order within a reasonable timeframe through the organization of inclusive, free and transparent elections,” the longtime Guinean opposition leader told the AP.

After Mali's August 2020 coup, ECOWAS imposed sanctions and proposed a one-year deadline for the political transition. Regional mediators later acquiesced to the junta leaders and accepted an 18-month timeframe that now appears in doubt as February 2022 approaches. After agreeing to a civilian transitional government following the coup, Col. Assimi Goita effectively staged another coup nine months later by firing the president and prime minister and later declaring himself president of the transition.

A woman disembarks from a taxi outside Kaporo market in Conakry, Guinea Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. Guinea's longtime opposition leader says he welcomes the coup that deposed President Alpha Conde. But Cellou Dalein Diallo is calling on the junta leaders to create a transitional government and a timeline for elections as soon as possible. (AP Photo/ Sunday Alamba) © Provided by Associated Press A woman disembarks from a taxi outside Kaporo market in Conakry, Guinea Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. Guinea's longtime opposition leader says he welcomes the coup that deposed President Alpha Conde. But Cellou Dalein Diallo is calling on the junta leaders to create a transitional government and a timeline for elections as soon as possible. (AP Photo/ Sunday Alamba)

Both Guinea and Mali had gone years without military coups, leading some to think they might have become a thing of the past. Even if a deal is struck this week in Guinea, observers say the Mali situation underscores the fragility of such agreements with military juntas.

West African leaders meet over Guinea coup

  West African leaders meet over Guinea coup West African leaders were meeting on Thursday to decide on measures to bring Guinea back to constitutional rule after troops ousted President Alpha Conde in a coup this month. The 15-member regional ECOWAS group already suspended Guinea after Conde's ouster on September 5 by a special forces commander who captured the president and declared a political transition. ECOWAS sent a mission to Guinea last week to meet with coup leader Lieutenant-Colonel Mamady Doumbouya and on Thursday will review the mission's report and decide on next steps.

Women sells onions and potatoes at Kaporo market in Conakry, Guinea Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. Guinea's longtime opposition leader says he welcomes the coup that deposed President Alpha Conde. But Cellou Dalein Diallo is calling on the junta leaders to create a transitional government and a timeline for elections as soon as possible. (AP Photo/ Sunday Alamba) © Provided by Associated Press Women sells onions and potatoes at Kaporo market in Conakry, Guinea Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. Guinea's longtime opposition leader says he welcomes the coup that deposed President Alpha Conde. But Cellou Dalein Diallo is calling on the junta leaders to create a transitional government and a timeline for elections as soon as possible. (AP Photo/ Sunday Alamba)

Some fear that if left unchecked, the coups in West Africa could encourage militaries elsewhere to stage takeovers of their own. Earlier this year, the military in Chad also seized power after longtime President Idriss Deby Itno was slain, putting his son Mahamat Idriss Deby in charge even though Chad’s constitution had called for power to be transferred to the National Assembly president.

Niagale Bagayoko, chair of the African Security Sector Network who focuses her research on West and Central Africa, said the threat extends beyond military coups to include presidents who try to change their country's constitutions to remain in power.

“What it is at stake today is: Do we continue to support democratically elected authorities, and what does it mean to be democratically elected?" she said. “The problems that we do have in the sub-region, not only in countries where a coup happened, is that you have both unconstitutional civilian kinds of coups and military coups. And it’s difficult to fight against the latter when there’s not been really any condemnation for the former."

Women shop at Kaporo market in Conakry, Guinea, Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. Guinea's longtime opposition leader says he welcomes the coup that deposed President Alpha Conde. But Cellou Dalein Diallo is calling on the junta leaders to create a transitional government and a timeline for elections as soon as possible. (AP Photo/ Sunday Alamba) © Provided by Associated Press Women shop at Kaporo market in Conakry, Guinea, Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. Guinea's longtime opposition leader says he welcomes the coup that deposed President Alpha Conde. But Cellou Dalein Diallo is calling on the junta leaders to create a transitional government and a timeline for elections as soon as possible. (AP Photo/ Sunday Alamba)

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Larson reported from Dakar, Senegal. Associated Press journalist Yesica Fisch contributed.

Guinea: two weeks after the coup, how advance the transition? .
© John Wessels / AFP A military vehicle stationed in Conakry on September 14, 2021, a few days after the coup in Guinea. Where are we in Guinea, two weeks after the coup that spilled Alpha Condé? The junta in power has launched broad national consultations since September 14, to prepare a charter of the transition. The Cédéao shrugged for a quick return to the constitutional order, but the National Committee for Gathering and Development (CNRD) ensures that it will not give pressure.

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