A delegation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will head to Guinea on Friday, two days after the 15-member bloc suspended Guinea’s membership in response to a military coup that removed President Alpha Conde.
Those on the delegation include the foreign ministers of Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo. They are due to land in Conakry, the capital of Guinea, as ECOWAS representatives.
A member of the delegation and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Burkina Faso, Alpha Barry, said the high-level diplomatic mission was expected to demand the return to constitutional order and to push for the immediate release of Conde, who was arrested by special forces led by Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya on Sunday.
ECOWAS has demanded 83-year-old Conde’s unconditional release but has made no mention of any possible sanctions, Al Jazeera reports.
The coup in Guinea has sparked broad diplomatic condemnation, including by the United Nations and the African Union.
It was the fourth in 13 months in West and Central Africa, raising concerns among observers over a proliferation of military-led governments in the region.
ECOWAS on Wednesday said it had suspended Guinea’s membership to the 15-member bloc in response to the coup.
However, Barry, Burkina Faso’s foreign minister, following an extraordinary virtual summit on Wednesday, said the bloc could review its decision to suspend Guinea’s membership following its mediation.
“At the end of that mission, ECOWAS should be able to re-examine its position,” Barry said.
Conde became the first democratically elected president in 2010 and was re-elected for a second term in 2015. Last year, he pushed through a constitutional change to allow himself to run for a third term, a move deemed illegal by his opponents.
Conde went on to win a presidential election in October 2020, resulting in violent protests across the country. Dozens of protesters were reportedly killed.