Guinea Junta Defies Poll Pressure, Rules Out Exile For Ex-president
Sumaira FH 1 month ago Sun 19th September 2021 | 02:10 AM
Conakry, Sept 18 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 19th Sep, 2021 ) :Guinea's ruling junta on Saturday ruled out exile for detained former president Alpha Conde and said transition towards civilian rule would be done in accordance with "the will of the people".
Mamady Doumbouya, the colonel who led the coup, told the visiting delegation that "it was important for ECOWAS to listen to the legitimate aspirations of the people of Guinea," said a junta spokesman, Colonel Amara Camara, at the ruling council's first news conference on the six-month deadline.
Doumbouya stressed the need not to repeat the "mistakes of the past", recalling that national consultations to outline the transition had begun on Tuesday and that "only the sovereign people of Guinea will decide its destiny", Camara said.
- 'Frank and fraternal talks' - During their visit, the Ghanaian head of state Nana Akufo-Addo, whose country holds the rotating presidency of ECOWAS, and his Ivorian counterpart Alassane Ouattara, presented the junta with the organisation's demands for elections within six months.
They also insisted on the release of Conde.
"We had very frank, fraternal talks with Colonel Doumbouya and his associates and collaborators and I think that ECOWAS and Guinea will find a way to walk together," Akufo-Addo said at the end of the visit.
The ruling council, which now designates Doumbouya as "president of the republic and head of state", said that consultation sessions scheduled for Friday with banks, insurance companies and unions would be held on Saturday.
The consultations will continue next week, it said, including Monday meetings with cultural actors, press associations and those within the informal sector.
The military has already held talks with political parties, religious leaders, the heads of mining companies, key players in this poor but resource-rich country, and other figures.
Local rights groups, including the Guinean Organisation for the Defence of Human Rights (OGDH), put out a statement voicing their concern over "respect for democratic principles and the rule of law" and called on the ruling junta to "communicate as soon as possible a roadmap for the transition that takes into account all the proposals arising from the consultations".
"Honour to the patriots" read one placard on display among the hundreds who waited hours for the exiles to return.
Some in the crowd were wearing the red t-shirts of the opposition FNDC coalition, which led the protest against a third mandate for Conde. Others sported the red, yellow and green of the Guinean flag.
"We never doubted for a moment that we would win this fight," said Ibrahima Diallo, one of those returning.