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West Africa’s major regional bloc, ECOWAS has suspended Guinea’s membership of the bloc days after a military coup was used to remove President Alpha Conde.
Africa Today News, New York reports that the decision was taken during an extraordinary virtual summit on Wednesday, where leaders from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) demanded a return to the constitutional order and the immediate release of Conde, who was arrested by special forces led by Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya on Sunday.
The ECOWAS leaders also resolved to send a high-level mission to Guinea as soon as Thursday.
‘At the end of that mission, ECOWAS should be able to re-examine its position,’ Alpha Barry, Burkina Faso’s foreign minister, told reporters in Ouagadougou after the meeting.
The bloc’s decision comes after the coup sparked broad diplomatic condemnation, but was also met jubilation in some parts of the capital, Conakry, where residents turned out on the streets to applaud passing soldiers.
The 83-year-old became the first democratically elected president in 2010 and was re-elected in 2015. But last year, Conde pushed through a constitutional change to allow himself to run for a third term, a move his opponents said was illegal. Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara also won a third term last year after changing his country’s constitution.
ECOWAS was criticised at the time by activists for remaining silent about Conde and Ouattara’s third-term bids.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK