Panafrican News Agency

ECOWAS 'deeply concerned' about increasing socio-economic tension in Guinea

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has expressed "deep concern" about the increasing socio-political tension in Guinea as political and civil society organisations continue to challenge the military authorities for inclusive dialogue to reach an agreeable timetable for a return to constitutional rule.

The sub-regional group has also deplored the violence that took place in the capital, Conakry, on 28 and 29 July resulting in fatalities, injuries and destruction of property.

In a statement issued on Monday, ECOWAS called for the release of detainees and the prompt investigation into the circumstances leading to the unfortunate incidents with a view to bringing perpetrators to justice in accordance with the law.

At least five people were killed during the Conakry protest, the Ministry of Justice has said, while at least two senior members of pressure group, the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC), have been detained and charged with disturbing public order, arson, looting and destruction of public and private buildings.

The statement said ECOWAS appeals to the Guinean authorities, the political groups and civil society "to engage in inclusive dialogue in order to de-escalate the tension and agree on a reasonable timeframe and modalities for the peaceful restoration of constitutional order".

ECOWAS said it remains "fully committed" to supporting the transition authorities and the Guinean people in this endeavour, including through the ECOWAS mediation led by former Benin President Thomas Yayi Boni.

ECOWAS heads of state who met in Accra on 3 July charged former President Boni to meet the Guinean transition authorities on their proposed 36 months transition period.

They warned that if by the end of last month the Guimean authorities failed to propose an acceptable timetable economic and financial sanctions will be imposed on the country. Meanwhile, Guinea remains suspended from ECOWAS.

-0- PANA MA 2Aug2022