ECOWAS Heads of State suspend Guinea and hold junta responsible for safety of Conde 

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 10 September 2021:

ECOWAS Heads of State and Government met two days ago via videoconference to discuss last week’s military coup in Guinea Conakry, which brought down the government of the country’s 83year old president Alpha Conde.

The military junta led by a close confidante and head of the president’s security – Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, arrested president Conde whose whereabouts and condition remain unknown.

Although Guinea remains calm and life returning to normal with the junta enjoying widespread support across the country, ripples of the military takeover are now being felt across the region as Heads of State and Government demand the reinstatement of constitutional rule.

At the meeting of ECOWAS, a few of the leaders – especially George Weah of Liberia, were philosophical about the military takeover – suggesting that the military intervention in Guinea was prompted by president Conde’s decision to change the constitution so as to achieve his three terms objective.

“While we are condemning these military coups, we must also muster the courage to look into what is triggering these unconstitutional takeovers………..Could it be that we are not honouring our political commitments to respect the term limits of our various constitutions,” said  George Weah of Liberia to his fellow West African leaders.

In their published communique, ECOWAS leaders condemned the coup and resolved to send a high-level mediation team to Conakry to examine the political, social, and humanitarian condition on the ground, warning the junta leaders that they will be held individually and collectively liable for the safety and well-being of the deposed president and other detainees.

ECOWAS leaders also agreed to suspend Guinea from all ECOWAS governing bodies with immediate effect.

This is what the communique says:

“The Authority expresses deep concern over the political developments in the Republic of Guinea following the coup d’état of 5 September 2021 and their consequences for regional peace and stability. It reaffirms its unreserved opposition to any political change by unconstitutional means and condemns, in the strongest terms, this coup.

“The Authority demands respect for the physical safety of the President of the Republic and Head of State, H.E. Alpha Condé, and his immediate and unconditional release, as well as that of all arrested persons. It holds the coup plotters, under the aegis of the National Committee for Reconciliation and Development (CNRD), individually and collectively responsible for the physical safety of President Alpha Condé and the arrested persons.

“The Authority calls for the immediate return to constitutional order and demands that the Defence and Security Forces maintain a constitutional posture. The Heads of State and Government express their solidarity with the people of Guinea and affirm their determination to take every necessary action for the restoration of constitutional order in Guinea, in conformity with the Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance. To that end, the Authority decides as follows:

  1. to suspend Guinea from all ECOWAS governing bodies with immediate effect,
  2. to immediately dispatch a high-level ECOWAS mission to Guinea to assess the situation,
  3. the Authority will review the situation in light of developments in the Republic of Guinea and the Assessment mission report.

“The Authority calls on the African Union and the United Nations to endorse the decisions stated in paragraphs 8, 9, 10 and 11 of this Final Communique.

On the political transition in the Republic of Mali

The Authority considered the report by the Mediator, H.E. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, on his mission to Mali from 5 to 7 September 2021. The mission reviewed the transition process and, particularly, the progress made in the preparations for the election scheduled to be held in February 2022.

“The Authority welcomes the relative calm observed in the country and takes note of the renewed commitment of the transitional authorities to respect the planned duration of the transition period. The Authority also takes note of the lifting of the restrictive measures imposed on the former President of the Transition, H.E. Bah N’Daw, and the former Prime Minister, Mr Moctar Ouane.

“It calls on the Chair of the Authority to remain seized of the matter and of the conditions of detention of former senior government officials, particularly, the former Prime Minister, Mr. Boubeye Maiga, a person of advanced age.

“The Authority expresses great concern over the lack of progress in the preparations for the different election-related activities scheduled for the end of February 2022, in accordance with the decisions of the Authority. It urges the Transitional Government to draw up, rapidly a timetable detailing the calendar, reforms and priority actions to be undertaken, including the consensual definition of the legal framework for the elections, the preparation of the voters list, and the choice of the body to conduct the elections. The Authority insists on adherence to the agreed electoral timetable.

“The Authority reaffirms ECOWAS’ commitment to supporting the Republic of Mali for a successful transition and calls on multilateral and bilateral partners to continue to support the transition process, particularly in the preparations for the elections. In this connection, the Authority congratulates the Mediator, and urges him to continue his efforts for a successful transition in Mali.

“The Heads of State and Government express their deep gratitude to H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana and Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, for his leadership of the Community.”

Chaired by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana and Chair of ECOWAS, the following Heads of State and Government or their duly mandated representatives were present at the Summit:

Roch Marc Christian Kabore, President of Burkina Faso

Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire

Adama Barrow, President of the Republic of The Gambia

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana

Umaro Sissoco Embalo, President of the Republic of Guinea Bissau

Georges Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia

Mohamed Bazoum, President of the Republic of Niger

Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal

Julius Maada Bio, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone

Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe, President of the Togolese Republic

Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Aurélien Agbenonci, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Benin

Rui Alberto de Figueiredo Soares, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Regional Integration of the Republic of Cabo Verde.

The summit was also attended by Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, President of the ECOWAS Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission and Mahamat Saleh Annadif, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for West Africa.

 

5 Comments

  1. I was speaking to my former Sierra Leonean secretary yesterday, an educated lady who listens to the news daily, and does not know where to get her Covid-19 vaccine jabs. I hope the vaccine is presently available and I hope the people are advised where to get it free of charge.

  2. There you have it folks. The list of the necolonial house slaves who administer Western Africa on behalf of their colonial masters. In all the communiqués above, not one mention is made of the people. I shall expand, Mali is suffering from intertribal wars between Fulani herdsmen and Dogon farmers. Islamic insurgencies that have wrecked the tourist and trans Saharan trade leading to poverty and starvation combined with rapid desertification.

    In Guinea, we have massive poverty, I should know, I have lived there, with no basic health services, although they are the largest source of aluminium in the world. These people are suffering intensely, so much that they risk all to cross the Mediterranean in search of a better life. However, the restoration of Alpha Conde is more important.

  3. One decision for the Malian military and another for the Guinean special forces. A coup is a coup. Both the Malian Generals and the Guinean special forces should be treated in the same way. Double standard ECOWAS travelled to Guinea empty-handed. They have nothing profound to tell the leaders of the mighty Guinean special forces. Ladies and gentlemen, read this article – https://www.thesierraleonetelegraph.com/latest-position-of-ecowas-heads-of-states-on-military-coup-in-mali/ – “points 13h, i and k. h) decide to close all land and air borders as well as stop all financial, economic and trade flows and transactions between ECOWAS Member States and Mali, except for basic essentials, drugs and other supplies and equipment for the fight against COVID-19, petroleum products and electricity, and encourage all partners to do likewise;
    i) call for the immediate imposition of targeted sanctions against all military putschists and their partners and collaborators, and k) call for the immediate activation of the ECOWAS Standby Force; SI Page”. Ecowas was swift in making their decision against the Malian military putschists. But, none of these points will have any impact on the Guinean special forces. Guinea as a country is immune to these points made by ECOWAS on Mali. Sad for the Malians.
    Another critical point is that some of the ECOWAS heads of state don’t follow the protocols they signed.

    Did former President Alpha Conde followed article 1. c of the Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance (A/SP1/12/01). Read this article and judge for yourself https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/RuleOfLaw/CompilationDemocracy/Pages/ECOWASProtocol.aspx. What did ECOWAS do when former President Alpha Conde flouted article 1. C of their protocols? Have they become West African dictators keepers?
    My advice to Lieutenant Colone Mamady Doumbouya is to make sure former President Alpha Conde is safe and sound. The same applies to all the other detainees. But more important, he brings all the mining companies on board. Guineas revenue relies on the sale of Bauxite and Iron Ore. Not inter African or cross-border trade. ECOWAS will not convince China, Russia and the other interested partners not to buy Bauxite or Iron Ore from Guinea. No way.

    Lieutenant-Colonel Mamady Doumbouya should try to relinquish power as soon as possible and let a civilian government take charge. He should also not encourage any witch hunt. Creating a department for national unity and cohesion must be one of his priorities. If he sticks to my advice, then he will become one of my champions. This great Lieutenant-Colonel has sorted a problem that was not normal in Guinea but had to prove that he has a genuinely democratic way forward to sort out the mess left behind by the former President Alpha Conde. Kudos to President George Weah of Liberia for his straight talk. Let me repeat it. ECOWAS needs reform to make sure that the rules they make should be the same for everyone. But, not one law for Mali and one direction for Guinea. One rule for a sitting president and another for the putschists. That won’t work, folks. Again please make sure Lieutenant-Colonel Mamady Doumbouya that Guinea remains stable. When Guinea is stable, Sierra Leone is stable. Vice versa. God bless the Republic of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Mali. “Guinea beat dem time”. Yeah.

  4. The ECOWAS member states are having their knickers on the twist. Majority of the countries that are now castigating the military jaunta under the leadership of Lt Col Mammady Doumbouya can’t claim to have never involved themselves in coup plots to oust corrupt elected civilian governments, as in the case of Buhari in 1983,and Bio in 1992. Or better still not to have massage the constitution of their own countries, Ivory Coast and the military jaunta in Mali under Assimi Goata. Because if ECOWAS is now saying the military take over in Guinea was in material breach of the international treaties of the ECOWAS protocols that stop individuals gaining power by undemocratic means, why in the world ECOWAS member states faild to condems the civilan coups carried out by Alpha Conde when he overthrew the Guinean constitution and made way for a third term instead of his two term as the constitution of Guinea allowed back in 2020.A coup is define as a sudden and violent seizure of power from a government.

    There were a lot of protest matches back then, that were opposed to his move. People lost their lives. Some were sent to prison for making their voices heard. But then again where was ECOWAS, when the Guinean security forces turned their guns on young people that were protesting. But bacause Alpha Conde was a civilian president, it wasn’t define as a coup. Nonetheless it was still a coup. Or be it a civilian coup. Now looking it at it from that angle, people will think only the men in military uniform, with guns blazing that are capable of carrying out a coup. On the other hand civilian president can also carry out coups by changing the constitution of their countries to suit their needs with no ripples effects. I think if ECOWAS have stood up to Aplpa Conde, the Ivorian leader Allasan Ouattarra, for changing their constitution to run for a third term, we wouldn’t have found ourselves were we are.

    Maybe the ECOWAS member states need to revisit the definition of a coup. But that is the hypocrisy of the ECOWAS. Maybe the only president that understands this is George Weah of Liberia. And right now he is in the minority. More like he is banging his head against a brick wall. Maybe if Buhari have expressed similar sentiments he would have gain more traction, given the military in Guinea a breathing space. All ready you can feel the division growing with in the ineffective ECOWAS group.

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