Ecowas suspends Guinea, announces mediation mission

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Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) has suspended Guinea from the bloc over the weekend coup, Burkina Faso’s Foreign Affairs Minister Alpha Barry said.

The decision was taken on Wednesday at a virtual summit of heads of state and government of the West African regional group.

The leaders of the 15-member bloc also resolved to send a high-level mission to the capital Conakry on Thursday, according to Mr Barry.

An elite group of special forces soldiers seized power in Guinea on Sunday, accusing President Alpha Conde of corruption and maladministration.

Mr Conde has ruled over the country for 11 years.

The presidents of Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Senegal were among leaders who attended the meeting on Wednesday, which was chaired by Nana Akufo-Addo Dankwa, the Ghanaian President and Ecowas chairman.

The leaders called for the return to civilian rule and the immediate and unconditional release of Mr Conde, who has been in detention since the soldiers took over.

The suspension means that Guinea will have no say and will not participate on any Ecowas decision making process.

The leaders fell short of imposing sanctions on Guinea.

Ecowas decision comes as the putschists began releasing political prisoners, and coup leader Mamady Doumbouya’s promised to form a transitional government of national unity.

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