Coup: ECOWAS Foreign Ministers To Visit Guinea

Members of the Armed Forces of Guinea drive through the central neighbourhood of Kaloum in Conakry on September 5, 2021, after sustainable gunfire was heard. CELLOU BINANI / AFP

 

West African foreign ministers will arrive in Guinea on Friday to evaluate the situation after a military coup in the country, Burkina Faso’s foreign minister Alpha Barry said Thursday.

The foreign ministers of Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, and Togo will visit as representatives of the West Africa bloc ECOWAS, said Barry, a member of the delegation.

On Wednesday ECOWAS suspended Guinea from its ranks after the military coup on Sunday when special forces led by Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya seized power and arrested President Alpha Conde, sparking international condemnation.

Conde, 83, had come under increasing fire for perceived authoritarianism, with dozens of opposition activists arrested after a violently disputed election last year.

But the putsch in Guinea has sparked fears of democratic backsliding across West Africa — where military strongmen are an increasingly familiar sight.

It has drawn parallels with its neighbour Mali. The Sahel state has suffered two coups since August last year led by Colonel Assimi Goita, who was also a special forces commander.

On Wednesday Barry had announced the 15-nation ECOWAS would send a “high-level mission” to Guinea to review the situation.

So far the West African bloc has imposed no economic sanctions on Guinea.

When faced with a similar predicament in Mali last year, ECOWAS imposed economic sanctions on the country but lifted them after Mali’s ruling military committed to restoring civilian rule.

Doumbouya, hours after taking power in Conakry, appeared on television and accused the Conde government of “endemic corruption” and of “trampling on citizens’ rights”.

He has pledged to open talks on forming a new government, but it is not yet clear when, or under what form, these may take place.

The coup leader has also sought to reassure the business community, alarmed over the potential for disruptions in commodity supply chains.

Mining is the economic backbone of Guinea, which has abundant mineral resources, from bauxite and iron ore to gold and diamonds

Guinea will continue to uphold “all its undertakings and mining agreements”, the coup leader said Monday

The putsch followed a long period of political tension in Guinea, first spurred by Conde’s highly contested bid for a third presidential term last year.

The military coup was met with jubilation in some parts of Conakry, where residents turned out on the streets to applaud passing soldiers.

AFP

G7 Foreign Ministers To Meet Over Syrian Crisis

Courtesy: www.slate.com

The Group of seven industrialised nations (G7) Foreign Ministers, are working towards a common position on the Syrian conflict, before the U.S. Secretary of State, Mr Rex Tillerson, flies to Russia to persuade Moscow to abandon its Syrian ally.

Mr Tillerson is also scheduled to meet officials from the allied Middle Eastern countries before heading to Moscow.

The U.K has suggested threatening tightly-focused sanctions on Russian and Syrian military officers following the latest apparent use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Syria however, denies it carried out the chemical attack on the rebel-held town of khan Sheikhoun that left 89 people dead last week.

In response to the attack, the U.S said it destroyed a fifth of the Syrian operational aircraft in an air strike on the Shayrat airbase.

John Kerry Leaves Nigeria

John-Kerry-US-Secretary-of-StateThe United State Secretary of State, John Kerry has concluded his visit to Nigeria.

Mr. Kerry’s next stop is Saudi Arabia where he will meet with Foreign Ministers from the six nation Gulf Cooperation Council.

Some key issues he discussed with President Muhammadu Buhari, include the anti-corruption campaign, religious extremism and the violence in the Niger Delta Region.

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday told U.S. Secretary of State, Mr John Kerry, that he would institutionalise the anti-corruption crusade to ensure it lasts beyond the current administration.

At a meeting with Mr Kerry in Abuja, the President said his administration “will insist on the standards it is establishing”.

“We are laying down administrative and financial instructions in the public service that must be obeyed.

“Any breach will no longer be acceptable.

“We will retrain our staff, so that they understand the new orientation.

“And those who run afoul of these rules will be prosecuted, no matter who is involved,” he stressed.

John Kerry Seeks End To Syria War

kerryThe United States (US) is intensifying diplomatic efforts to end the conflict in Syria, even as it increases support for moderate rebels.

This is according to the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, who is travelling to Vienna for talks with foreign ministers on ending the four-and-a-half year conflict.

Iran is for the first time taking part in such talks, which will also include Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Russia and Iran both support Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad but the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other gulf Arab nations insist he cannot play any long term role in the country’s future.

Foreign ministers from the UK, France, Germany, Egypt, Lebanon and the EU have also confirmed they would attend the meeting and other middle eastern power are also expected.

EU Migrants Crisis: Thousands Arrive Austria With EU Talks Due

eu migrantsThousands of migrants throng Austria over the weekend ahead of a unified EU response to the crisis.

Austrian authorities are expecting more arrivals from Hungary on Monday.

Foreign Ministers from four eastern European countries are due to hold talks on the crisis later, kicking off a week of intense diplomatic activity.

EU Interior Ministers are also to meet on Tuesday, with leaders convening for an extraordinary summit the following day.

The crisis has exposed deep divisions among European states.

French President, François Hollande, has said “no-one can be exempt” from taking in people with the right to asylum, while European Council President, Donald Tusk, said that the EU should help Syrian refugees to “a better life closer to their homes”.

But at the meeting due later on Monday, the Foreign Ministers from Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic are expected to reaffirm their opposition to Germany’s call for a more even distribution of migrants.