Guinea holds talks in Conakry to prepare for transition back to civilian government


More than a week after a military coup toppled Guinean strongman Alpha Condé, the chief of the junta, Lt. Col. Mamady Doumbouya, called for talks to form a transitional government. Jowharreports from the capital, Conakry.

Guinea is holding a four-day conference this week to prepare for a transition back to a civilian democratic government following the Sept. 5 military coup led by Lt. Col. Mamady Doumbouya.

The coup led to the suspension of the impoverished West African nation from the African Union (AU) and the Regional Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Reporting from outside the national parliament in Conakry, FRANCE 24’s James André said the talks would take place at the compound, where Doumbouya is currently located and where Condé has been detained.

“Mamady Doumbouya is going to host all the main players in the country, starting with the country’s party leaders,” André said.

Speaking to FRANCE 24, Cellou Dalein Diallo, head of the main opposition party, said he was ready to offer his services. The president of the Union des Forces Démocratiques de Guinée (UFDG) party said his teams were “working to establish what reforms and steps need to be taken to achieve fair and transparent elections. For example, we need a voter list, an electoral law, and we need to know how long each action will take, “Diallo said.

Several Guineans, including civil society activists, fed up with Alpha Condé, particularly its constitutional amendments that allowed for an extension of the mandate, say they are willing to support the junta’s attempt to transition the country to civilian rule.

“The military takeover has given people a lot of hope, I would say really too much,” said Dansa Kourouma, president of the National Council of Civil Society Organizations (CNOSCG). “We want to tell you that you cannot afford any mistakes. We hope that Guinea’s democratic foundations can be successfully and consensually rebuilt within a reasonable period of time.”