Akufo-Addo and Alassane Ouattara in surprise visit to Guinea - Conakry

Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo together with the President of Côte d'Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara in Guinea Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo together with the President of Côte d'Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara in Guinea

Guinea's coup makers, have opened their doors to Ghana's President and his Ivorian counterpart.

Nana Akufo-Addo, is currently in Guinea, in his capacity as Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority, together with the President of Côte d'Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara.

Nana Akufo-Addo in Guinea

They are holding talks with the military leadership in Guinea, led by Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya, largely on the fate of President Alpha Conde, amongst others.

The visit, follows Thursday's Extraordinary ECOWAS summit in Accra, where travel banwere slapped on the coup makers.

West Africa's main regional bloc on Thursday, September 17, imposed sanctions against the junta in Guinea and those slowing Mali's post-coup transition - its toughest response yet to a run of military takeovers.

The move was agreed at an emergency summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Accra, to respond to last week's putsch in Guinea and perceived slow progress towards constitutional rule in Mali, following a coup last year.

Regional heads of states, decided to freeze the financial assets and impose travel bans on Guinea's junta members and their relatives, insisting on the release of President Alpha Conde and a short transition period.

"In six months elections should be held," said ECOWAS Commission President, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou at a briefing.

The bloc, also piled more pressure on Mali's transitional government, demanding they stick to an agreement to organise elections for February 2022 and present an electoral roadmap by next month, according to the post-summit communique.

Anyone in Mali hindering preparations for the elections, faces the same sanctions as those imposed in Guinea, it said.

Leaders who took part in the summit hailed this more hardline stance.

West and Central Africa, have seen four coups since last year - political upheaval that has intensified concerns about a backslide towards military rule in a resource-rich, but poverty-stricken region.

"I welcome the strong actions of the summit to safeguard democracy, peace, security and stability in the subregion," Senegalese President Macky Sall tweeted.

Coup leaders in Guinea, are holding consultations this week with various public figures, groups and business leaders in the country to map a framework for the transition.

Late on Thursday, they said they were also expecting a delegation of regional heads of state to visit Conakry for talks today, Friday September 17.

Soldiers behind the Sept. 5, coup have said they ousted Conde because of concerns about poverty and corruption, and because he was serving a third term only after altering the constitution to permit it.

Meanwhile, the putsch in Mali was largely precipitated by a security crisis, which has seen militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State, extend their influence across the north and centre of the country.

The new Malian authorities' pledge to hold presidential and legislative elections early next year, has been undermined by their failure to meet various deadlines, including the start of voter roll updates and the presentation of a new constitution.

The transition was dealt a further setback in May, when the colonel who led the initial coup, Assimi Goita, ordered the arrest of the interim president and then took over the role himself.

Source: www.theheraldgh.com