Defiant Junta Rejects Pressure To Let Conde Leave Guinea

Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara and Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo have paid a one-day visit to Conakry to ask coup leader Mamady Doumbouya, a special forces commander, for Conde's release.

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Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara and Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo have paid a one-day visit to Conakry to ask coup leader Mamady Doumbouya, a special forces commander, for Conde’s release.

Outtara had been hoping to leave Guinea with Conde, a senior regional government official told Reuters.

But speaking in a statement read on state TV the junta said that the former president is and remains in Guinea and that they would not yield to any pressure.

Ouattara and Akufo-Addo, representing the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), held a separate meeting with Conde at the Mohamed VI Palace in Conakry, but flew out the country on Friday evening empty-handed.

Ouattara told Radio-Télévision Guinéenne (RTG) at Conakry airport before leaving: “I met my brother Alpha Conde, who is doing well. We will remain in contact.”

On the other hand Akufo-Addo told News Men that they had a very frank and fraternal meeting with Doumbouya and his collaborators, adding that ECOWAS and Guinea are going to find the best way to move forward together.”

ECOWAS has demanded a return to constitutional rule since the special forces unit seized control of the presidential palace, detained Conde and declared itself in charge.

The bloc agreed on Thursday to freeze financial assets of the junta and their relatives and bar them from travelling. The junta has not responded.

Events in Guinea followed coups in Mali and Chad earlier this year that have raised fears of a democratic backslide in a region only just shedding its “coup-belt” reputation.

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