African Union suspends Guinea after military coup

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NATION – The African Union (AU) has followed in the footsteps of the West African bloc to suspend Guinea after last Sunday’s military coup in that country.

The AU Political Affairs, Peace and Security Commission (PSC) made the announcement on Friday morning on Twitter, saying the continental bloc has banned Guinea from official business until it returns to constitutional order.

“Council, in accordance with relevant AU instruments, decided to suspend the Republic of Guinea from all AU activities and decision making bodies and calls on the United Nations Security Council to endorse the final Ecowas (Economic Community of West African States) communique and has been also endorsed by the PSC,” the statement reads.

The PSC also called on the AU Commission President Moussa Faki to engage with stakeholders in the region with the goal of resolving the Guinean crisis.

The AU’s decision comes a day after Ecowas suspended Guinea following the dissolution of government and the arrest of President Alpha Conde by soldiers from an elite unit within the army.

The soldiers led by Lt-Col Mamady Doumbouya accused the deposed president of corruption and nepotism.

The junta has promised to set up a government of national unity which will preside over a transition to democracy. But the soldiers have not provided any timeline.

An Ecowas mediation team, which was set by the West African heads of State at an emergency summit on Wednesday, is expected to arrive in Conakry on Friday.

The team is expected to press the junta to return the country back to civilian rule and release detainees, among them the former president.

According to Alpha Barry, Burkina Faso’s Foreign Minister, the delegation will comprise himself and fellow foreign ministers from Ghana, Nigeria and Togo.

The outcome of the team’s visit will inform Ecowas’ next move on the Guinean situation, Mr Barry told reporters on Wednesday.

Normalcy

In Guinea, life has returned to normalcy since the takeover with the public largely hailing the coup.

Mr Conde was serving the first year in his third term as president, after controversially changing the country’s Constitution last year to allow him to stay in power. Hundreds of opposition protesters were killed or detained as part of the protests.

At the Ecowas leaders summit, Liberian President George Weah made headlines when he questioned the role a growing trend of constitutional amendments is playing in a growing spate of military coups in the region. He urged the bloc to look into the issue.

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