ECOWAS Chairman Says Guinean Junta Ready To Reduce Transition Timeline To Two Years

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) chairman and Guinea-Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embalo on Thursday claimed that Guinea’s ruling military junta has agreed to cut its transition to civilian rule from three to two years, reported The TRT World.

Speaking at a media briefing in Bissau alongside French President Emmanuel Macron, Embalo said that he had recently convinced Guinea’s junta to shorten its timeline.

“I was in Conakry with the president of the commission (of ECOWAS) to make the military junta understand the decision of the summit of heads of state that the transition cannot exceed 24 months,” the ECOWAS chairman said.

He said that Guinea’s military junta proposed 36 months’ timeline, but the West African regional bloc succeeded in convincing them to reduce the transition timeline.

But, Ousmane Gaoual Diallo, a Guinean minister and spokesman for the transitional government, told AFP that the government doesnot confirm the announcement made by the ECOWAS about the duration of the transition in Guinea.

Guinea’s military, which was led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, ousted President Alpha Conde in September last year. The military junta pledged to hand over power to elected civilians within three years. But regional powers rejected this timeline, with ECOWAS suspending Guinea after the coup.

Last week, West African mediators met Guinea’s ruling junta for talks on a return to civilian rule.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, there were protests against Guinea’s military leaders in Conakry.

The National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC), a coalition of political parties, trade unions and civil society organisations that led anti-Conde protests in 2019 and 2020, called the demonstrations to denounce the junta’s “unilateral management” of any return to civilian rule. Other parties and coalitions also joined the protests.

The military junta had banned public demonstrations in May, and Thursday’s protests led to sporadic clashes between demonstrators and police.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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