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Sunday's military coup in Guinea is the third since April in West and Central Africa, raising concerns about a slide back to military rule in a region that had made strides towards multi-party democracy since the 1990s.
Guinea's military leaders have freed a group of political prisoners before a meeting of West African leaders to discuss their response to Sunday's coup that removed President Alpha Conde.
At least 80 political prisoners detained by Conde were released on Tuesday evening. Some had campaigned against his attempt to stay in power for a third term after introducing changes to the constitution to allow it, a move opponents said was illegal.
West African countries have threatened sanctions following Conde's overthrow and a regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), was due to convene a virtual summit on Wednesday.
Guinea's membership in the Economic Community of West African States (#ECOWAS) has been suspended following the military coup that overthrew President Alpha Conde, Burkina Faso's Foreign Minister Alpha Barry at the close of an ECOWAS extraordinary Summit via Videoconferencing. pic.twitter.com/z3aZoXqx48
As the military group that ousted Conde consolidated its grip on the country, Guinea's main opposition leader said he was open to participating in a transition on Tuesday.
Coup leader Mamady Doumbouya, a former officer in the French Foreign Legion, has promised a transitional government of national unity and a “new era for governance and economic development.” However, he has not offered additional details or given a time frame for his plan.
Guinea's main opposition leader, Cellou Dalein Diallo, told Reuters on Tuesday he had not yet been consulted about the transition but was ready to participate.
“We would send representatives, why not, to participate in the process to bring the country back to constitutional order,” said Diallo, a former prime minister who finished runner-up to Conde in three successive elections, most recently last October.
The Guinea coup leaders have released dozens of prisoners including political detainees ahead of the summit of the west African grouping Ecowas. pic.twitter.com/BPtsLmULkp
Sunday's coup, in which Conde and other top politicians were detained or barred from traveling, is the third since April in West and Central Africa. The coup has raised concerns within neighboring countries about a slide back to military rule in a region that had made strides towards multi-party democracy since the 1990s.
Conakry was calm for a second day after the military takeover, with some military checkpoints removed. Traffic was normal on Tuesday in the capital's administrative center, the Kaloum peninsula.
The officers who led the coup have installed army officers at the top of Guinea's eight regions and various administrative districts to consolidate their power.