- The West African bloc does not obtain the release of Condé
- Coup leaders overthrew Conde on September 5
- ECOWAS wants to freeze the financial assets of the junta
CONAKRY, September 17 (Reuters) – The Guinean military junta said on Friday it would not give in to regional pressure and allow President Alpha Condé, detained since his overthrow on September 5, to leave the country.
On Friday, Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara and Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo paid a day-long visit to Conakry to demand the release of Condé, coup leader Mamady Doumbouya, commander of special forces and former French legionnaire .
Outtara hoped to leave Guinea with Conde, a senior regional government official told Reuters.
“The former president is and remains in Guinea. We will not give in to any pressure, ”the junta said in a statement read on state television.
Ouattara and Akufo-Addo, representing the 15 members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), held a separate meeting with Condé at the Mohamed VI Palace in Conakry, but left the country on Friday evening. empty hands.
Ouattara told Radio-Télévision Guinéenne (RTG) at Conakry airport before leaving: “I met my brother Alpha Condé, who is doing well. We will stay in touch.
Akufo-Addo told RTG: “We had a very fraternal and fraternal meeting with Doumbouya and his collaborators. I think that ECOWAS and Guinea will find the best way to move forward together.
ECOWAS has demanded a return to constitutional order since the special forces unit took control of the presidential palace, detained Conde and declared himself responsible.
The bloc agreed on Thursday to freeze the financial assets of the junta and their relatives and to ban them from traveling. The junta did not respond.
The events in Guinea followed the coups d’état in Mali and Chad earlier this year, which raised fears of a rollback to democracy in a region which is only losing its reputation as a “belt of blows.” of State ”.
The Guinean putschists held a week of consultations with public figures and business leaders to define a framework for a transitional government.
ECOWAS ‘credibility in Guinea has been strained since 2018, when the bloc failed to condemn Condé for running for a third term last year, despite a law declaring presidents to resign after two and numerous protests. .
Ouattara himself used a constitutional change as an excuse to run for a third term last year, a move critics have called illegal.
Following Thursday’s summit, in which ECOWAS also pressured Mali’s transitional government to hold elections by February 2022, the regional body said it would review protocols on democracy and good governance.
Departing from Conakry airport, the ECOWAS procession passed dozens of pro-junta demonstrators holding up placards.
One of them said: “ECOWAS does not decide for us.
Report by Saliou Samb and Christian Akorlie; Additional reporting by Ange Aboa; Written by Hereward Holland; Editing by Edward McAllister, Philippa Fletcher, Andrew Cawthorne, William Maclean and David Gregorio
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