The African Union (AU), on Friday, suspended Guinea, putting diplomatic pressure on the country’s ruling military.
This comes after the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) also suspended the country, following last Sunday’s coup, which saw Special Forces, led by Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya seize power and detain president Alpha Conde.
The African Union (AU) made the announcement of the suspension known in a statement on social media, noting it had decided to suspend the Republic of Guinea from all AU activities and decision-making bodies. The US embassy in Conakry also called on Guinea to immediately restore democracy.
Also on Friday, ECOWAS mediators landed in the Guinea’s capital, Conakry to mediate in the crisis, with the Commission’s President, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou part of the delegation, as well as the Nigerian, Ghanaian, Burkinabe and Togolese foreign ministers.
Increasing pressure on Guinea comes amid rising fears of democratic backsliding across West Africa, where coups seem to be on the rise in recent years.
Although, coup leader, Doumbouya pledged to open talks on forming a new government, it is not yet clear when, or under what form, these may take place.
Since the coup, the junta has freed about 80 political activists detained under Conde and banned ex-ministers from leaving the country.
On Thursday, it also said it had temporarily frozen ex-ministers’ bank accounts.
Doumbouya has nonetheless promised there will be no witch hunt against members of the former regime also guaranteeing the safety of Conde, whose whereabouts are unknown.
The former French colony has the world’s largest reserves of bauxite, the primary source of aluminium and the News of the coup sent the price of aluminium soaring to its highest level in 13 years this week, and triggered concern about the commodity supply chain among businesses.