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ECOWAS Plans Virtual Summit On Guinea Crisis

West Africa’s economic bloc ECOWAS will hold a virtual summit on Wednesday to discuss the crisis in Guinea, where troops have arrested President Alpha Conde and declared a political transition.

On Sunday, a group of elite troops led by a Guinean former French Foreign Legionnaire arrested 83-year-old Conde, announced they were scrapping the constitution and imposed a curfew in the West African state.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Sunday condemned the coup and demanded Conde’s unconditional release.

The group will hold a virtual extraordinary summit of member states to discuss Guinea, the communications director for the ECOWAS Commission, Sandra Oulate said on Tuesday.

A statement to journalists on an ECOWAS social media account said the meeting would be at 2pm (1400 GMT) on Wednesday.

Conde, a former champion of democracy, had been facing mounting anger for sidestepping constitutional limits on presidential terms.

He was Guinea’s first democratically-elected president in 2010 and was re-elected five years later. But he triggered protests last year when he pushed through constitutional changes enabling him to run again.

The international community criticised the latest turmoil in a region where many countries are struggling with poverty, inequality and jihadist insurgencies.

The African Union (AU) and the United Nations called for Conde’s release. The EU and France, the former colonial power, both condemned the coup — the latest in a region that has seen recent military takeovers in Mali and Chad.

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