West Africa: ECOWAS Member States Meet in Accra to Discuss Guinea's Political Impasse

16 September 2021

Leaders of ECOWAS member states are meeting in Accra, Ghana, Monday to discuss the military take over in Guinea and the possible return of power to a civilian government.

At an extraordinary summit held virtually on Wednesday, September 8, the members suspended Guinea's membership. They demanded a return to constitutional order, days after the country's military removed President Alpha Conde from power.

The West Africa's regional bloc also demanded the immediate release of Conde, who was arrested by Guinea's special forces led by Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya last Sunday.

The leaders at the meeting also agreed to send a high-level mission to Guinea on Thursday, September 9, while at the end of the mission's work, ECOWAS would re-examine its position on the matter.

Last week, Ghana's Foreign Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, with the ECOWAS delegation, visited Guinea to discuss the possibilities of the coup-makers returning power to civilian rule, but it's alleged that Commander Mamady Doumbouya outlined some conditions which would make him hand over to a civilian government.

One of the critical issues to be discussed at today's meeting would be whether the regional bloc will impose trade sanctions on Guinea now or later.

The trade sanctions will seek to disrupt the military leadership and create hardships in Guinea's economy, which will make them unpopular.

Similar trade sanctions were imposed on West African neighbour Mali in August 2020 after Mali soldiers detained President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

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