GUINEA:Military Coup leader Colonel Mamady Doumbouya and his men have declared on national television that they remain firm on their decision not to release 83-year-old Alpha Conde who has been in their custody since the coup which saw his removal from office.
The statement on Friday came after the West African regional bloc known as ECOWAS met Colonel Mamady Doumbouya in Conakry.
“The former president is and remains in Guinea. We will not yield to any pressure,” the Military Coup leaders said on Friday during an address to the nation after a meeting with ECOWAS representatives.
Regional representatives including the current ECOWAS Chair Nana Akufo-Addo who doubles as President of Ghana as well as the Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara visited Conakry on a mission to negotiate the freedom of the former president who has been detained since being toppled on September 5 after more than 10 years in power.
Akufo-Addo said the delegation had “a very frank, fraternal discussion” with Doumbouya and his associates.
Despite the defiance by the junta, President Akufo Addo remains hopeful for a possible future understanding.
“I think that ECOWAS and Guinea are going to do well together,” he said, adding that they had also been able to hold a fruitful meeting with Conde.
“We’ve had a very frank and fraternal meeting with Doumbouya and his collaborators. I think that ECOWAS and Guinea are going to find the best way to move forward together.” The chairman said.
The bloc agreed on targeted sanctions on Thursday after Guinea’s military leaders failed to meet its demands. ECOWAS has called for Conde’s immediate release and for a swift transition of power, with elections held within six months.
Soldiers behind the coup say they are holding consultations with various public figures, groups and business leaders in the country to map a framework for the transition. They claim to have overthrown Conde because of concerns about poverty and corruption, and because he was serving a third term only after altering the constitution to permit it.
The adopted sanctions include the freezing of the financial assets and the imposition of travel bans on Guinea’s military leaders and their relatives.
West and Central Africa has seen four coups since last year. The political upheaval has intensified concerns about a backslide towards military rule in a resource-rich but poverty-stricken region.
On Friday, Guinean civil society invite ECOWAS to reconsider its demands regarding September 5 coup as current chairman of regional bloc the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Akufo-Addo heads a delegation to mediate the political crisis following the coup.