World Guinea junta defies poll pressure, rules out exile for ex-president
West African bloc sends delegation to Guinea following coup
ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — A delegation of West African leaders is to go to Guinea Thursday to meet with the junta that toppled President Alpha Conde in a coup earlier this week. Top officials of West Africa's influential economic bloc, ECOWAS, are expected to meet in Conakry, the capital, with the military officers now ruling the country and press them to immediately return the country to constitutional rule. The 15-nation regional bloc has suspended Guinea following the coup led by Col. Mamady Doumbouya, according to a communique issued after a virtual summit of the region's leaders.
Guinea's ruling junta on Saturday ruled out exile for detained former president Alpha Conde and said transition towards civilian rule would be done in accordance with "the will of the people".
The statement from the ruling council came in defiance of international pressure for Conde's release and a six-month timetable for elections after a coup on September 5 sparked global condemnation.
It also followed the visit on Friday of a mission from ECOWAS led by two heads of state from the 15-member West African bloc.
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Mamady Doumbouya, the colonel who led the coup, told the visiting delegation that "it was important for ECOWAS to listen to the legitimate aspirations of the people of Guinea," said a junta spokesman, Colonel Amara Camara, at the ruling council's first press conference on the six-month deadline.
Doumbouya stressed the need not to repeat the "mistakes of the past", recalling that national consultations to outline the transition had begun on Tuesday and that "only the sovereign people of Guinea will decide its destiny", Camara said.
"It is also clear to all parties that the former president will remain in Guinea," he added.
During their visit, the Ghanaian head of state Nana Akufo-Addo, whose country holds the rotating presidency of ECOWAS, and his Ivorian counterpart Alassane Ouattara, presented the junta with the organisation's demands for elections within six months.
Military junta to open talks over Guinea's future post-coup
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. 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.
They also insisted on the release of Conde.
"We had very frank, fraternal talks with Colonel Doumbouya and his associates and collaborators and I think that ECOWAS and Guinea will find a way to walk together," Akufo-Addo said at the end of the visit.
The ruling council, which now designates Doumbouya as "President of the Republic and Head of State", said that the consultation sessions scheduled for Friday with banks, insurance companies and unions would be held on Saturday.
This consultation will continue next week, it announced, including Monday meetings with cultural actors, press associations and those within the informal sector.
The military has already held talks with political parties, religious leaders, the heads of mining companies, key players in this poor but resource-rich country, and other figures.
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Nearly $27 million seized from the Vice President of Equatorial Guinea Teodorin Nguema Obiang Mangue will be spent on Covid-19 vaccines for the country, the US Department of Justice said in a statement Monday. © AFP/AFP/AFP/Getty Images Teodorin Nguema Obiang (R), the son of Equatorial Guinea's president Teodoro Obiang and the country's vice-president, in June 2013. Assets confiscated include luxury vehicles and a pair of $275,000 jewel-encrusted gloves belonging to Michael Jackson.