By Staff Writer
Guinea’s military leaders inaugurated the start of a conference to begin the process of transitioning back to civilian rule. The dialogue, which started on Tuesday, is being held at the presidential compound.
The now defacto leader, Lieutenant Courtnall Mamady Doumbouya, is based after his ouster of Alpha Conde on the 5th of September. Opposition figures, civil society organisations and business leaders are slated to attend, and the country’s borders have reopened once again.
“We need a voter list, an election law, and we need to know how long each action will take,” said Cellou Diallo, head of the main opposition UFDG party, which is participating in the talks. Most opposition parties and civil society organisations will be involved in the discussions since most supported the coup. Doumbouya freed over 80 opposition figures following the coup, which most Guineans have celebrated.
The talks come after the country was suspended from both the regional Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) bloc and the African Union last week over its unconstitutional alteration in power.
Guinea was plunged into turmoil in 2020 when former president Alpha Conde altered the constitution to run for a third term in office and subsequently gained this term in a severely fraudulent election. Opposition figures were arrested, protests suppressed, and the UN accused Conde of stoking ethnic tensions to retain power. The country has abundant iron ore resources and has the largest bauxite reserves, yet most of its citizens live on less than two dollars a day. The junta has since announced that it will continue international mining contracts.
Conde was the first democratically elected president in a country with a history of coups since its independence from France in 1958.
With information from France 24, Associated Press, Reuters and Aljazeera