ECOWAS Sanctions Guinea After Failure to Establish Timeline for Democratic Rule
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has announced more sanctions against Guinea’s military government which has failed to set a new timeline for the transition to democracy.
Leaders from West Africa’s leading political and economic bloc met in a summit on Friday, September 23rd, held concurrently with the UN General Assembly in New York, and agreed to freeze the financial assets of members of the military junta and prevent them from traveling to other countries in the region.
Guinea was also given until October 22, by the regional bloc, to set up a “reasonable” timetable for returning to civilian rule or face further sanctions.
Following the summit, the bloc released a statement that said the sanctions were adopted “with a view to facilitating the process of an early return to constitutional order in Guinea, a prerequisite for peace, stability, and development.”
Since President Alpha Conde, who had held office since 2010, was ousted in a coup in September 2021, Guinea has been governed by the military junta.
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Bernard Gomou, the prime minister of Guinea who was appointed by the military government, has openly criticized Umaro Sissoco Embalo, chief of ECOWAS, calling him a “puppet wearing the mantle of a statesman.”
Since a large portion of the military leadership has been subject to strict financial and travel restrictions since assuming power, it was unclear who would be impacted by the new sanctions.
As part of the new sanctions, the ECOWAS Development Bank declared in a statement that it would stop funding development projects in Guinea. At least two energy-related projects are currently supported by the bank in the country.
ECOWAS first imposed sanctions on Guinea’s military rulers and their families days after the September 2021 coup.
Mamady Dumbouya, the interim president, put forth a three-year transition plan in May, which ECOWAS rejected in early July. They warned that if a new date wasn’t set by the beginning of August, the military leaders would be subject to more sanctions.
In the last two years, there have been numerous military coups in the West African bloc.