Guinea’s junta is expected to face more pressure to set a timeframe for new elections Tuesday as the military rulers open a four-day series of meetings about the West African nation’s future following the president’s overthrow in a coup last week.
The meeting comes as concerns grow about how quickly the junta led by Col. Mamady Doumbouya will give up power to a civilian-led transitional government as called for by regional mediators and the international community–
The coup, has been cautiously welcomed so far by other longtime opponents of deposed President Alpha Conde, including Guinea’s most prominent opposition figure Cellou Dalein Diallo, who lost to Conde in the last three presidential elections.
Many in the capital, Conakry, have shown support for the military takeover.
“There have been protests from people who are cherishing the rule of law in Guinea. But what is true is that there has not been a lot of sadness among the Guinean people,” said Niagalé Bagayoko, an expert in security and peace in West and Central Africa and chair of the African Security Sector Network.
Anger over Conde’s quest for a third term after reforming the constitution to remain in power last year, led to violent street demonstrations.
Several protesters and opponents of Conde were arrested during and after the electoral process on October.
The international community, especially groups like ECOWAS and the African Union, created “to promote good governance and democracy with very clear legal provisions” are not enforcing those values Bagayoko said.
For her, the region is suffering a “very deep crisis of governance” and it’s necessary to support those “whose agenda is definitely to promote and defend the rule of law, constitutional order and human rights.”
On Tuesday, the junta kicks off talks by meeting with officials from Diallo’s party, the Unio-n of Democratic Forces of Guinea, and other critics of Conde.
Doumbouya and other junta leaders are also to welcome various religious leaders to the People’s Palace where earlier they summoned officials from the ousted government and demanded they hand over their passports and the keys to government vehicles.
“Community-based politics are of great importance in Guinea, and Mamady Doumbouya (the head of the military junta) is in fact, belonging to the same ethnic grou p as Alpha Conde, and Alpha Conde has all the time been playing (politically speaking) with community and ethnic identities. But this time, the coup is not coming from another community. It’s coming from someone who belongs to the same origin, belonging to the same Malinke community. So I think it also explains why there have not being a lot of protests against this coup.” Bagayoko concluded.