African Union suspends Guinea

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The AU Political Affairs, Peace and Security department made the announcement on Friday, confirming the African Union would remove 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 Communique and has been also endorsed by the PSC.”

The statement also calls 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 after soldiers from an elite unit within the army arrested President Alpha Conde and dissolved his government.

The coup leaders, 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 to preside over a transition to democracy but has not given a timeline.

An ECOWAS mediation team promised by the heads of State of the regional bloc at an emergency summit held on Wednesday is expected to arrive in Conakry on Friday. The team is expected to pressure the junta to return the country to civilian rule and release detainees, among them the former President.

According to Alpha Barry, Burkina Faso’s Foreign minister, the delegation will include him and foreign ministers from Ghana, Nigeria, and Togo. The outcome of the team’s visit will inform Ecowas’ next move on the Guinean situation, Barry told reporters earlier on Wednesday, at the end of the Ecowas leaders’ summit.

Since the beginning of the week, life continues to return to normal in Guinea, where the public has largely hailed the coup. 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 that a growing trend of constitutional amendments is playing in increasing military coups in the region. He urged the bloc to look into the issue.

Suzan O/AllAfrica

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