Foreign Minister Mrs. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey (left) speaking at the press conference in Accra. Photo: GABRIEL AHIABOR
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will hold an extraordinary summit in Accra today to discuss the coup d’Ã©tat and the political crisis in Guinea.
Heads of state and other senior officials from the 15-member sub-regional bloc will deliberate on a report from a fact-finding mission sent to assess the situation in Guinea on September 10 this year.
It is expected that after the summit, ECOWAS will give the military junta in Guinea a timetable to prepare the country to return to democracy, in accordance with the ECOWAS Treaty and Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.
This is the second time that ECOWAS has met Guinea on the agenda.
The first meeting was held virtually on Wednesday, September 8 of this year, during which the Authority of Heads of State and Government, the highest decision-making body in ECOWAS, suspended Guinea following the coup. State that overthrew President Alpha CondÃ© on September 5, this year.
The heads of state of six countries – Togo, Liberia, CÃ´te d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Niger and Senegal – are expected to join President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of ECOWAS, at the summit.
Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, who confirmed the attendees at a press conference in Accra yesterday, said Nigeria will be represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, while The Gambia and Sierra Leone would be represented by their ministers of affairs.
Guinea and Mali, the two West African states currently ruled by military juntas, will not attend the summit, as they have been suspended from the sub-regional body.
Ms Botchwey said the ECOWAS Heads of State Authority would assess the fact-finding mission report, after which she would present a statement detailing the next line of action.
âFor the moment, the ministry has not received any indication of participation from Cape Verde and Benin. We are also awaiting the participation of the President and Vice-President of the ECOWAS Commission, âshe said.
Guinea was plunged into political turmoil on September 5 when Professor CondÃ© was overthrown in a coup by the country’s special forces, led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya.
Col Doumbouya formed a military junta called: National Committee for Reconciliation and Development (CNRD).
Professor CondÃ©, who had been in power since 2010 and was in the first year of his controversial third term, is currently under house arrest by the junta.
The coup was condemned by ECOWAS, the African Union and the United Nations, all calling for the unconditional release of Professor CondÃ© and the reestablishment of democratic rule in Guinea.
Last Tuesday, Colonel Doumbouya and other CNRD leaders met with political, religious and business leaders and other stakeholders, who the junta said would set the stage for the formation of a transitional government that would hand over the country on the way back to democracy.
State of shock
Ms. Botchwey, who chairs the ECOWAS Council of Ministers, led a high-level mission to Guinea on September 10 to assess the situation.
“The delegation informed Colonel Doumbouya of its mission to determine, among other things, the problems that led to the coup and the CNRD’s plan for the restoration of constitutional order in Guinea,” she said. .
The Foreign Minister said the delegation also met Professor CondÃ© and spent time with him.
She revealed that the deposed president was in good health, but was in shock.
âHe looked great, but to anyone who had had a traumatic experience like him, he was still in shock,â she said.
Road traffic disruption
Meanwhile, the Ghana Police Service announced that there will be temporary roadblocks on some roads in Accra today following the summit.
Ghana Police Service Director of Public Affairs, Police Superintendent Mr. Alexander Obeng, said the temporary roadblocks should facilitate the transport of heads of state and other dignitaries to the Kempinski Hotel, where the submission would take place.
Speaking at the same event, he said the affected areas included Kotoka International Airport, Opeibia House, Akuafo Roundabout, Afrikiko, Ako-Adjei Interchange, National Theater, Roundabout Ridge and finally the Kempinski Hotel.
âThere will be around 100 police officers to direct traffic. The roadblocks will be temporary, which means that they will be put in place as dignitaries are escorted to the location, âhe said.