Francis Atwoli has written to the African Union seeking the intervention of the continental body to secure the release of overthrown Guinea President Alpha Conde.
Atwoli, writing in his capacity as President of the Organization of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU), also urged AU to ensure restoration of civilian rule in Guinea.
This comes after soldiers staged an uprising in Guinea’s capital on Sunday and said on state television that they had dissolved the West African nation’s government and constitution and closed all land and air borders.
Videos shared on social media on Sunday afternoon showed President Alpha Conde in a room surrounded by army special forces.
Atwoli, in a statement on Tuesday addressed to African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, said:
“Issues of coup d’etat in the African Continent are primitive, uncouth and crude methods used in the yesteryears to gain power; but considering we have over time embraced democracy, freedom of speech. peace and tolerance such ill-advised methods should not be encouraged or used to gain power.
I am, therefore, appealing to the leadership of the African Union to move with speed and consolidate the support of other African States, including the support of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and other Regional Economic Communities (RECs), to intervene and restore democracy in Guinea-Conakry. They must, in the process, make sure that president Conde is released to continue enjoying his freedom as dictated by democracy.”
Atwoli further stated that the challenges facing Guinea can be addressed in a constitutional manner, and not through coups.
President Conde won a third term in October after changing the constitution to allow him to run again, despite violent protests from the opposition, raising concerns of further political upheavals in a region that has seen coups in Mali and Chad in recent months.
In a speech the day after his men declared on national television that they had arrested the president and dissolved the country’s constitution, Army Colonel Mamady Doumbouya promised a “government of national union.”
He also stated that there would be no “witch hunt” of the government officials he dismissed during the takeover and replaced with regional military commanders.
Doumbouya hoped to calm concerns about economic upheaval, promising that Guinea would “uphold all its undertakings (and) mining agreements,” stressing “its commitment to give favorable treatment to foreign investment in the country.”
Additional information by Agencies
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