West African bloc to send delegation to Guinea after coup

ACCRA, GHANA (AP) — A delegation of West African leaders is to travel to Guinea to meet with the junta that toppled President Alpha Conde in a coup earlier this week.

Top officials of West Africa’s influential economic bloc, ECOWAS, are expected to meet in Conakry, the capital, with the military officers now ruling the country and press them to immediately return the country to constitutional rule.

The 15-nation regional bloc suspended Guinea following the coup led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, according to a communique issued after a virtual summit of the region’s leaders.

“The authorities expressed deep concern over the coup d’etat of September 5 and their consequences for regional peace and stability,” the communique said. ECOWAS reaffirmed its opposition to any “political changes by unconstitutional means and condemn in strongest terms, this coup”.

The regional bloc urged Guinea’s coup leaders to assure the safety of the deposed president “as well as that of all arrested persons”. Conde remains in the custody of the junta, who have only said that he is in a secure location with access to medical care.

A woman selling food on a street in Conakry, Guinea. PHOTO: AP