Guinea Coup: ECOWAS/AU must negotiate Conde’s release

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Dr. Festus Aubyn, a Security Analyst, has urged the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU) to negotiate the release of Guinean President Alpha Conde.

A section of the Guinean Military on Sunday, September 5th, announced that they had seized power and that President Conde was in detention.

The military attributed the coup d’état to rampant corruption, mismanagement, and poverty in the country.

ECOWAS, AU, and the United Nations (UN) condemned the military takeover and called for the restoration of constitutional rule.

Dr. Aubyn in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra said beyond the condemnation and calling for a return to constitutional order, ECOWAS and the AU must consider imposing sanctions on Guinea to restore situations to normalcy.

“Currently, if you look at the situation, the President is still being held by the soldiers, and so I think the first thing that the AU and ECOWAS have to do is to negotiate the President’s release; just like they did in Mali when there was a coup d’état and the President was detained by the soldiers,” Dr. Aubyn stated.

He said after the release of the President, they could work out a transition plan to get back on the path of constitutional rule.

“What is happening in Guinea should also be a clarion call for ECOWAS, in particular, to look at the current kind of constitutional arrangements that we have in countries within the sub-region that turn to favour the political class and the elite. Whilst the current constitution favours those groups of people, they need to work hard to make sure that power is in the hands of the people, not the politicians or government officials,” Dr. Aubybn said.

He said what led to the current situation in Guinea was not different from what took place in Mali and the Ivory Coast; saying “the situations are almost the same – corruption, bad governance and poverty” and asked ECOWAS to go beyond the rhetoric and deal with such issues before they went out of control.

Dr. Aubyn said Ghana, as the Chair of ECOWAS, had a major role to play in ensuring that the Guinean situation was resolved.

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