Why ECOWAS, AU, heads of state haven’t condemned the putsch in Guinea?

Guinea is experiencing turbulent times with the military’s coup d’état on Sunday, September 5, 2021. Hours after the overthrow of President Alpha Conde, neither the African Union nor ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States), let alone the African heads of state, have condemned what has just taken place before their eyes.

A putsch is still a putsch, therefore an act to be condemned with the utmost energy. And this is what has just happened in Guinea, where the President of the Republic, Alpha Conde, has been dismissed by the army, including the Guinean Special Forces, headed by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya.

This former legionnaire of the French army, who announced that a “National Committee for Gathering and Development, CNRD” has taken power from President Alpha Conde. In a video posted on social media, Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya said, “We have decided, after seeing the President who is with us, to dissolve the current Constitution, to dissolve the government and to declare the closure of land and air borders,” citing “the dysfunction of republican institutions, the instrumentalization of justice and the trampling of citizens’ rights” as justification for the putsch.

Several hours after the coup, there was no reaction. Neither from the African heads of state, nor from the AU (African Union), nor from ECOWAS (Community of West African States). This is easily understood because everything took place before their eyes.

They were all there, Heads of State, African Union, ECOWAS, when this same Alpha Condé, whose country is a member of the AU and the Community of West African States, perpetrated his putsch in 2020, without a word. Thus, all of them were accomplices of this coup de force perpetrated by Alpha Condé at that time.

Statements similar to those made by Alpha Condé, in 2020, in response to the reservations expressed by the European Union and France about his re-election: “We value our sovereignty, we value our independence, we will not accept orders from other countries. We don’t need to ask a country’s opinion on what we should do. The only one we need to ask for advice, the only advice that counts is the advice of the Guinean people. And we did the elections without any outside help. We have held the referendum, we have held the legislative and presidential elections without a single franc from outside. Because we don’t want people to interfere in our affairs anymore. But if they put in a little money, they get involved. So don’t be surprised by the behavior of certain States. But it doesn’t matter, we are going to continue to develop Guinea, and if it pleases God, Guinea will go very fast. Within a few years, Guinea will be the second power after Nigeria. This is what does not please everyone. But I am counting on you. You are the people’s army; remain the people’s army. It is in you that the people recognize themselves…,” replied the Guinean President.

It is a climate of unease that is taking hold in the sub-region in the face of what is happening in Guinea. That we have reached a stage where the strongest institutions cannot condemn a coup d’état on the continent is simply sad.

In reality, it is a putschist, in the person of Alpha Conde, who has been forcibly ousted. There is another real putschist in power, still in West Africa. And his name is Alassane Ouattara, who, like Alpha Condé, has carved out a custom-made constitution in order to be able to run for a third term, which is synonymous with a coup d’état.

While noting that 35 countries have limited mandates in Africa, 12 have no limitations, six have abolished the restriction, and two (Guinea and Ivory Coast) have modified the limitation.

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