Ecowas bans 50 Guinea junta officials from foreign travel, freezes assets

President of the National Committee for Rally and Development Colonel Mamady Doumbouya (centre) leaves a meeting with representatives of the Economic Community of West African States in Conakry  on September 17, 2021.  

Photo credit: John Wessels | AFP

The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) has imposed tough sanctions on 50 Guinea government officials among them 21 top members of the country’s military junta   

 The decision was announced after an Extraordinary Summit by the West African leaders in New York on Thursday, a statement from the Ecowas Commission says.

The sanctioned officials, all from the military-led-transition government, are banned from travelling abroad and their assets, including finances, overseas frozen, the statement says.

The statement adds that the move is the first in a gradual process of sanctioning people linked to the government, in an effort to force the junta to heed to international demand to rapidly transfer power to civilian rule.  

Those targeted include all members of the National Committee of the Rally for Development (CNRD) junta, including its leader Col. Mamady Doumbouya, army chief of Staff, Col. Sadiba Koulibaly and the head of the military police, Col. Balla Samoura. 

Others are heads of key military wings, as well as the police chief. Also included are members of the civilian-led National Transitional Council, including its leader and de facto head of Parliament, Dr. Dansa Kourouma, as well as recently appointed new Prime Minister, Bernard Gamou, Justice Minister Alphonse Charles Wright and other top officials of the government.

Guinea plunged into the crisis one year ago, on September 5, 2021, when Doumbouya ousted former President Alpha Conde.

The decision by Ecowas comes three weeks after a deadline by the leaders for the junta to come up with an acceptable timetable for transition to democratic rule.

The sanctions were announced as Doumbouya was in neighbouring Mali attending that country’s independence anniversary celebration.

Mali, too, is under military rule, and it faces pressure to transfer power to civilian rule.

The Ecowas statement on Thursday called on the African Union, the United Nations and other partner organisations to support the implementation of the sanctions while continuing their support of the West African nation in its process of political transition.