Following the coup, Guinea suspended from ECOWAS

Even if they are still minimal, the first sanctions are starting to fall against Guinea. The leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Wednesday suspended the country from their organization following Sunday’s military coup. However, they refrained from economic measures pending the dispatch on Thursday of a diplomatic mission.

To make this decision, ECOWAS held a virtual summit on what the Ghanaian head of state, Nano Akufo-Addo, speaking at the opening of the rotating presidency of the organization, described as a “clear violation. of our charter on good governance ”.

President’s release requested

“The Conference expresses its very deep concern at the political developments which have taken place in the Republic of Guinea following the coup d’état of September 5, 2021 and their consequences for peace and regional stability”, criticized the organization in a statement released Wednesday evening. , which “condemns, with the greatest force, this coup”. In addition, the ECOWAS “demands respect for the physical integrity of President Alpha Condé and his immediate and unconditional release, as well as that of all the personalities arrested”.

The regional organization found itself a year later in a situation comparable to that it experienced with the August 2020 putsch in neighboring Mali. It then suspended Mali, but also took economic sanctions, such as stopping trade outside of basic necessities, and closing borders. These sanctions had been lifted following the commitment of the military to a transition of 18 months maximum.

A key player in the aluminum market

The problem for ECOWAS is that the soldiers in Guinea led by the head of the special forces, Lieutenant-Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, can claim a certain popularity, as evidenced by the demonstrations of sympathy in different districts of Conakry. In addition, the economic sanctions went badly a year ago with a suffering Malian population, in a very deteriorated economic and social context and even more degraded by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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With Guinea, one of the poorest countries on the planet, also plunged into a deep crisis, the leaders of the ECOWAS also had to decide on a major producer of bauxite, an essential mineral for the manufacture of aluminum. The uncertainties over international supply have also pushed the price of this material to its highest level for 13 years on the metals market in London. So as not to fuel the crisis a little more, the leaders of West Africa have therefore contented themselves, for the moment, with a symbolic measure.

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