West Africa bloc sees ‘positive’ steps to civilian rule in Guinea

west africa bloc sees positive steps to civilian rule in guinea

West Africa bloc ECOWAS has commended Guinea’s military rulers for making progress towards restoring civilian rule after a military coup in September.

An ECOWAS delegation arrived in Guinea on Thursday to meet strongman Colonel Mamady Doumbouya and members of his government, who are under pressure to stage elections after the ouster of elected president Alpha Conde.

At the end of the visit on Friday evening, ECOWAS Commission President Jean Claude Kassi Brou told reporters in the capital Conakry there was nonetheless a “positive dynamic” in moves to restore civilian rule.

He hailed domestic consultations on a civilian transition, for example, as well as the appointment of a civilian as interim prime minister. 

The ECOWAS visit is at least the third to Guinea since special forces led by Doumbouya deposed president Alpha Conde on September 5, after months of brewing discontent against his government

The 15-nation Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) imposed a travel ban on junta members and froze their financial assets after the coup. 

The bloc also urged the junta to stage elections within six months. 

But Doumbouya defied broad condemnation of the putsch and was sworn in as interim president on October 1.  

He has nevertheless promised to restore civilian rule after a transition period of unspecified length, and to unite the politically fractious nation of 13 million people.

After meeting Doumbouya on Friday, Kassi Brou noted the junta plans to set an election date only after completing internal consultations. 

“There must be internal consultations, so we are listening,” he said, adding that ECOWAS stands ready to assist. 

“We are not providing directives,” Kassi Brou added. 

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