Opposition pushes back on Guinea sanctions
Published: Sep 12, 2021 06:33 PM
Military coup in Conakry, Guinea Photo: IC

Military coup in Conakry, Guinea Photo: IC

A leading figure in Guinea's opposition on Saturday urged regional bloc ECOWAS not to impose economic sanctions on Guinea's new military regime, describing the recent coup as a "welcome development."

"The junta does not deserve to be sanctioned because it put an end to a situation of lawlessness," former prime minister Cellou Dalein Diallo told AFP.

Diallo, who ran unsuccessfully against the deposed leader Alpha Conde three times in successive presidential elections, told AFP there were no other options left but a coup.

Guinea's ruling military has been coming under growing diplomatic pressure after special forces led by Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya seized power on September 5 and arrested Conde.

ECOWAS suspended Guinea on Wednesday, and on Friday, the African Union (AU) followed suit.

ECOWAS has suspended a decision on economic sanctions until it gets a report from a fact-finding mission sent to Guinea.

But Diallo said, "The involvement of the army to end an illegal and illegitimate mandate was for me a welcome decision." 

He maintains that Conde cheated him out of the presidency in the 2020 election.

Conde, 83, had come under increasing fire, with dozens of opposition activists arrested after 2020's violently disputed election.

But the putsch in Guinea has sparked fears of democratic backsliding across West Africa - where military strongmen are an increasingly familiar sight.