ECOWAS leaders visit ousted Guinean president Conde; say he is safe

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Guinea’s deposed President Alpha Conde is in good health, leaders of the West African regional bloc ECOWAS who visited him in captivity, said.

83 year-old Conde was ousted by mutinous soldiers in a military coup in Guinea-Conakry, last Sunday, amid acusations of leading a government rife with rampant corruption and human rights abuses.

The delegation say, they also met the coup leaders including it’s mastermind, Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya.

“President Alpha Condé is well,” Ecowas President Jean-Claude Kassi Brou said on Saturday after meeting Conde in the coup leaders’ headquarters.

For days, the deposed president’s whereabouts had been unclear, but the coup leaders insisted he is safe.

Both ECOWAS and African Union (AU) a continental body denounced the coup and suspened Guinea calling for return to constitutional order. They also demanded Mr Condé’s release from detention.

The new military leaders have pledged to install a transitional government but have not said how or when it will happen.

Conde became increasingly unpopular after he changed the constitution last year so he could stand for a third term as president.

The military junta on thursday announced that it has ordered the central bank and other banks to freeze all government accounts. About 100 political prisoners were also released.

The banking freeze was aimed at “securing state assets”, a junta spokesman announced on the national broadcaster.

Announcing the coup on 5 September, the 41-year-old former French legionnaire said the army had little choice but to seize power because of endemic corruption, disregard for human rights and economic mismanagement under President Alpha Condé.

Col Doumbouya’s takeover means that he is currently the second-youngest leader of an African state. Only Mali’s Col Assimi Goïta, who has been in power since staging a coup in May, is younger, having been born in 1983.

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