Economic Community for West African States, ECOWAS has resolved to suspend Guinea after the military took over power calling for an immediate return to constitutional order.
This was made known on Wednesday in an emergency summit at Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou.
The move comes after Guinean special forces led by Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya seized power on Sunday and arrested president Alpha Conde, sparking international condemnation.
Conde had come under increasing fire for perceived authoritarianism.
The 83-year-old became the first democratically elected president in 2010 and was re-elected in 2015.
But last year, he pushed through a new constitution that allowed him to run for a third term in October 2020.
The move sparked mass demonstrations in which dozens of protesters were killed. Conde won the election but the political opposition maintained that the poll was a shame.
Regional bloc ECOWAS convened an extraordinary virtual summit to discuss the turmoil in Guinea on Wednesday.
Afterwards, Burkinabe Foreign Minister Alpha Barry said that ECOWAS would also request that the Africa Union and United Nations endorse its decision to suspend Guinea.
The putsch has sparked fears of democratic backsliding across the region, where military strongman are an increasingly familiar sight.
In Guinea’s neighbour Mali, strongman Colonel Assimi Goita has launched two coups since last August.
The West African bloc also demanded that Guinea’s military release Conde and held the coup plotters responsible for the ousted leader’s physical safety.
A high-level ECOWAS mission will be dispatched immediately, the statement said.
“The Authority will review the situation in light of developments in the Republic of Guinea and the Assessment mission report,” it said.
Lolo Ijeoma Njoku reporting, Obinwannem News writer / September 9, 2021