Guinea and ECOWAS: 39-month transition

Guinea and ECOWAS: 39-month transition

Noriko Watanabe and Chika Mori

Modern Tokyo Times 

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is alarmed by recent military developments in several ECOWAS nations. Hence, Guinea responded to pressure being put on by ECOWAS – along with internal discontent – by announcing a 39-month transitional period – before the restoration of civilian rule.

The National Transition Council will announce the objectives of Colonel Mamady Doumbouya (head of the military junta). It remains to be seen if ECOWAS will be satisfied by the longevity of the transitional period. However, with so many other regional problems, ECOWAS is overstretched by the economic, political, and terrorist convulsions that blight the region.

Opposition to the former president Alpha Conde emerged concerning the looming threat of Conde seeking a third term in office. The former leader had passed a new constitution to allow him to seek office once more. 

Colonel Mamady Doumbouya – and loyal army officers to the Colonel – ousted Conde in September 2021. This popular move was supported by many at the time. However, after announcing a 39-month transitional period to civilian rule, the longevity might usher in internal discontent. 

Colonel Mamady Doumbouya claims that the transitional period is in the national interest and aimed at putting the country on the right path. He also said that the new proposal was declared after taking an “inclusive consultation framework” to the delicate political situation. 

Voice of America reports, “ECOWAS has called for an “acceptable” timeline for a return to civilian rule, failing which it has threatened to extend sanctions applied to Guinea following the military coup there.”

Lee Jay Walker says, “ECOWAS notified the junta to restore civilian rule in Guinea within 6 months of the ousting of Conde. Yet to no avail. After all, with other political convulsions blighting the region concerning a host of ills – from Islamist terrorism to mass poverty – the junta in Guinea understands the limitation of ECOWAS even if listening openly to regional concerns.” 

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