West Africa: Junta Slams ECOWAS Chief’s Transition ‘Lies’

Guinea’s ruling military junta has accused the president of the West African regional bloc Ecowas of “lies” over his call for sanctions on Conakry if it seeks a three-year transition back to civilian rule.

Senior junta figure Colonel Amara Camara said Thursday: “Crude lies and intimidation are backward steps that dishonour [Economic Community of West African States chairman Umaro Sissoco Embalo] and at the same time tarnish Ecowas’s image.”

At the end of July, Embalo said he had convinced Guinea’s junta to hasten the return to democracy.

However, speaking to RFI in New York on Wednesday, Emablo said three years in power before a return to civilian rule is “unacceptable for Ecowas.”

Le Colonel Amara Camara, porte parole de la présidence, répond au président Embalo, président en exercice de la CEDEAO pic.twitter.com/1tyIDwsTct— Guineematin (@Guineematin) September 22, 2022

Ecowas summit in New York

Embalo, who is also President of Guinea-Bissau, added that the transition period is “unacceptable and non-negotiable”.

His commments came a day before an Ecowas summit that gets underway this Thursday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Guinea has been ruled by the military since a coup in September 2021 that ousted president Alpha Condé, who held power since 2010.

Embalo said in the RFI interview that if the junta maintained that timetable, there would be sanctions – “heavy sanctions, even”.

This comes as the West Africa bloc has been struggling with a string of military coups in the region over the past two years.

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