Guinea reopens air borders, bars ousted ministers from travel

Coup leader pledges establishment of 'government of national unity'.

Guinea reopens air borders, bars ousted ministers from travel

The military junta that overthrew Guinean President Alpha Conde over the weekend announced Monday that they had reopened the country’s air borders. 

“All airlines can resume their flights subject to administrative procedure in this regard,” the National Committee for Rally and Development (NCRD) said in a statement relayed by local media.

The reopening concerns “commercial and humanitarian flights only.”

Conde was detained Sunday by soldiers led by army Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya, who announced the takeover on state television and dissolution of the National Assembly and constitution.

Addressing the nation on public broadcaster RTG, Doumbouya said Conde was safe and in custody.

Vowing to restore democracy in the West African nation, Doumbouya said the NCRD, the name the troops gave themselves, had closed the country’s land and air borders for a week.

An overnight nationwide curfew will be in place until further notice.

Doumbouya has accused Conde of personalizing politics and not doing enough to improve the country’s economic and social conditions.

Doumbouya said Monday that ministers of the ousted government were not allowed to leave the country.

At a meeting with the ministers, including former Prime Minister Ibrahima Kassory Fofana, he said the movement restriction would be in place during the transition period, under which “a new era will be ushered in governance, security and economic development.”

Pledging to establish a “government of national unity,” he assured that there will be no revenge or witch hunt of former government officials, but the rule of law will be the guiding principle.

“I would like to inform you that no travel outside our borders will be allowed by the transition. All your travel documents and vehicles must be handed over. Consultations will be opened on the main lines of the transition. Then a government of national unity will be set up to lead the transition,” he said.

Doumbouya later also replaced all regional governors with military commanders.

The military pledged Sunday evening "to ensure the physical integrity of the former president and benefit from the visit of his doctors.”

Conde, 83, was re-elected for a third term in October 2020 in polls marred by violence.

He first came to power in 2010 in a vote seen as the first democratic election since the former French colony gained independence.

In a statement released Sunday night by the French embassy in Conakry, Guinea’s former colonial master France condemned the attempt to take power by force and called for a return to “constitutional order.”

Noting that France is in close contact with its African and international partners over the situation, the statement called for the immediate and unconditional release of President Conde.

The US, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union have also condemned the coup.

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Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Eylül 2021, 16:28
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