African Union suspends Guinea after coup, as envoys arrive for talks
Guinea’s ruling military came under diplomatic pressure on Friday as the African Union suspended the country over last weekend’s coup and West African envoys arrived to mediate in the crisis.
The regional bloc ECOWAS had already suspended Guinea after special forces led by Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya seized power on Sunday and arrested president Alpha Condé.
On Friday, the African Union (AU) followed suit, tweeting that it had decided “to suspend the Republic of Guinea from all AU activities and decision-making bodies.”
Mediators from ECOWAS — the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States — also landed in the capital Conakry on Friday, AFP journalists saw.
ECOWAS Commission President Jean-Claude Kassi Brou is part of the delegation, as are the Nigerian, Ghanaian, Burkinabe and Togolese foreign ministers.
The envoys met junta member Colonel Balla Samoura in a hotel in Conakry, according to a diplomat who requested anonymity, and are due to leave the city on Friday evening.
Increasing pressure on Guinea comes amid rising fears of democratic backsliding across West Africa, where strongmen are an increasingly familiar sight.
Guinea’s putsch has drawn parallels with its neighbour Mali, which has suffered two coups since August last year led by Colonel Assimi Goita, who was also a special forces commander