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Guinea’s ousted ex-president returns after treatment abroad

CONAKRY (AFP) – Guinea’s ousted ex-president Alpha Conde returned to the country on Friday after a trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for medical treatment, the ruling junta said.

Conde became Guinea’s first democratically elected president in 2010.

But the 84-year-old was deposed by army officers last year and replaced by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya.

The coup followed fierce protests over Conde’s successful bid for a third term in office – a plan critics said breached the constitution.

He was then allowed to leave Guinea for the UAE in January. His release was one of the demands made by the West Africa bloc ECOWAS after the coup.

The junta was reportedly reluctant to let him go abroad for fear of potential plots against their newly established rule.

“The former president will remain in Guinea as long as his health permits. His integrity and dignity will always be respected in accordance with his rank and status,” the National Rallying Committee for Development (CNRD), the junta’s governing body said.

But Conde’s Rally of the People of Guinea (RPG) party condemned the junta for “arbitrary actions” against him and his former administration.

On Wednesday, former Guinean prime minister Kassory Fofana and three ex-ministers who served under Conde were detained on embezzlement charges, in the latest probe targetting prominent figures.