September 14, (THEWILL) – Junta chief Lieutenant-Colonel Mamady Doumbouya has called for an inclusive, four-day conference beginning Tuesday to begin the transition back to civilian rule.
This development comes one week after a military coup ousted longtime Guinean leader Alpha Condé.
The press release from Doumbouya’s National Committee for Rally and Development (CNRD), called for the participation of political party leaders, civil society organizations, diplomats, religious emissaries and even mining operators.
“We are eager to learn more about the CNRD’s strategy and roadmap,” Alseiny Sall of the Guinean Organization for the Defense of Human Rights said.
However, like several opposition party leaders, he stated his doubts about how the talks will be handled.
“I don’t think that the process will be really effective for having serious and concrete discussions, because when we say “political parties”, there are so many in Guinea. When we say civil society organizations, it’s so vague, there are so many,” he added.
Others are worried that the programme, which gives two-hour slots to each sector over the four-day period, is not enough to give serious attention to the grave issues at hand.
The unease over Condé’s reign came to a head when he instituted a constitutional referendum over a year ago to add amendments to extend presidential terms.
“He betrayed his oath by doing so, and he plunged the country into a deep crisis,” opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo said.
“The fact that the military put an end to this illegal and legitimate mandate, I rather welcomed it, even if I did not expect this coup de force at this time,” said Diallo, who will be attending the conference.
Diallo envisages the junta setting up a transitional government and elections as soon as possible, “part of a peaceful return to constitutional order.”
This move could get the country back into good standing with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union, where its membership is currently suspended.
Condé’s Rally of the Guinean People (RPG) party is holding consultations to determine if they will participate. Condé remains in detention under the junta.
Currently, the transition is uncertain, but there are hopes this conference will reveal the intentions of Colonel Doumbouya, who has not spoken in public since the coup d’état.