Conakry – The party of Guinea’s ousted leader Alpha Conde announced on Thursday that it would stop participating in a national reconciliation conference in protest at his and others’ detention.
Conde became Guinea’s first democratically elected president in 2010, but the 84-year-old was deposed by army officers last year and replaced by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya.
Doumbouya launched a six-week reconciliation conference in late March, hailing an opportunity to heal historic wounds, but it was boycotted by several prominent political groups.
Rally of the Guinean People (RPG) said they would not be taking part until further notice, linking the decision to “deliberately maintained vagueness” around the status of Conde.
He was allowed to go to the UAE for medical treatment, coming back to Guinea on April 10.
RPG officials say he was not truly free before his trip and has not been since his return either, and on Thursday reiterated their demand for Conde’s “total and unconditional freedom”.
Other prominent figures have also been detained recently.
In early April Ibrahima Kassory Fofana, who served as prime minister under Conde from May 2018 until the coup, and three ex-ministers were arrested on embezzlement charges.
RPG protested the “arbitrary incarceration of their comrades” and urged the judicial process to respect the presumption of innocence.
Last year’s coup followed fierce protests over Conde’s successful bid for a third term in office – a plan critics said breached the constitution.
Doumbouya – who has since been sworn in as interim president – has promised to restore civilian rule, but resisted international pressure to commit to a date.
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