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    Security Updates
    Guinea Security Update – 20 September 2021

    As of 20 September, the nightly 22:00 – 06:00 curfew continues to be in place until further notice. As of 15 September, the National Committee of Rally and Development (CNRD) has announced the gradual reopening of Guinea’s land borders following the coup earlier this month. The borders reopening will be scheduled as follows: border with Sierra Leone by 15 September; border with Liberia by 16 September; border with Ivory Coast by 17 September; border with Mali by 18 September; border with Guinea-Bissau by 20 September; and the border with Senegal by 24 September.

    On Tuesday 14 September, the junta launched a week-long consultation with political, religious and business leaders that it says will lead to the formation of a transitional government. The four-day talks, which began with a meeting with leaders of the main political parties on Tuesday, are expected to lay out the framework of a promised government of national unity that would lead the country back to constitutional order. The talks are expected to define the duration of the transitional period, what political and institutional reforms are needed before elections, and who will lead the transition. The meeting with political parties on Tuesday will be followed by a meeting with representatives of regional governments, then religious organizations, civil society organizations, diplomatic missions, heads of mining companies and business leaders which are also scheduled for meetings with the junta thorough this week. While the talks concluded on Friday, the junta has yet to comment on the results of the discussions or disclose what timeline it has in mind for the transitional period.  

     On Thursday 16 September, the 15-nation ECOWAS bloc held an emergency summit to decide how to respond to the coup in Guinea and how to pressure the junta leaders to return the country to constitutional rule. ECOWAS has condemned the putsch that overthrew President Alpha Condé. Last week, the bloc suspended Guinea from the decision-making bodies of the organization and sent a mission to meet the coup leaders on Friday 10 September. Following the conclusion of Thursday’s summit, ECOWAS announced that it has agreed to freeze the financial assets and impose travel bans on junta members and their relatives. It has also demanded the unconditional release of ousted Guinea President Condé and a short transitional period. Speaking at a briefing following the summit, ECOWAS Commission President Jean-Claude Kassi Brou disclosed that elections should be held within a six-month period.

    The following day, Friday 17 September, Guinean President Nana Akufo Addo, the current chair of ECOWAS, along with Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara travelled to Conakry where they met with the country’s new junta leaders. While the visit was aimed at securing the release of former Guinean leader Alpha Condé, Guinea’s junta leaders on Friday disclosed that Condé would not be allowed to seek exile, adding that they would not cave to mounting pressure from regional mediators who have imposed targeted sanctions. Both Ouattara and Akufo-Addo held a separate meeting with Condé at the Mohamed VI palace in Conakry. While according to senior regional government official the one-day visit to Conakry was aimed at asking coup leader Mahamdy Doumbouya for Condé’s release, both West African leaders flew out of Guinea on Friday evening empty-handed.

     Following this week’s meetings with ECOWAS, the junta’s spokesman disclosed on Saturday 18 September that Guinea’s coup leader had told the delegation of West African leaders that he was not concerned about new sanctions imposed by the regional bloc last week. Speaking during a briefing on Saturday, junta spokesman Amara Camara disclosed that Doumbouya has shrugged off the move, telling high-level ECOWAS envoys that “as soldiers, their work is in Guinea and there is nothing to freeze in their accounts.” The comment was made during talks between Doumbouya and the Ivorian and Ghanaian presidents who visited Conakry on Friday. While ECOWAS has also demanded a six-month transitional period in Guinea, Doumbouya told the delegation that the will of the Guinean people should be taken into account, according to Camara.

    On Sunday 19 September, the country’s junta arrested a former minister and ransacked his home before releasing him several hours later. On Sunday morning armed men raided Tibou Kamara’s apartment in Conakry and took him to an undisclosed location. He was freed in the afternoon, though several items, including mobile phones, were seized. His arrest was confirmed by the ruling CNRD as well as his team, with coup leaders accusing him of violating a commitment to remain neutral towards the military administration currently in power. Kamara had been an industry minister and an adviser to former President Alpha Condé.

    MS Risk Advisory

    While calm has been restored in Guinea, the situation remains fluid and further instability could occur with little warning. Movement restrictive measures, telecommunications disruptions, and disruptions to state and business operations are likely to continue in the coming days. Clashes between rival security force factions may also continue after clashes erupted on 5 September resulting in the death of five military personnel. Further public gatherings in response to developments are likely nationwide and these could be in favour of the coup or in support of the Condé government. Any gathering is likely to be met by a security force deployment. Clashes are possible at all protest locations.

     Anyone considering travelling to Guinea is advised to defer travel until the situation stabilizes. Anyone currently in Guinea, including in Conakry and in other major city centres, is advised to monitor the local media and to maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Avoid concentrations of security personnel. Avoid all protests as they may turn violent with little warning. Plan for road travel delays and reconfirm all scheduled transport services, including flights, prior to departure.

    Security Update – Guinea (10 Sept. 2021)

    Current Situation 

    As of 10 September, a nightly 22:00 – 06:00 curfew continues to be in place until further notice.

    Envoys from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are due in Guinea’s capital Conakry on Friday 10 September to discuss ways to return the country to constitutional order following the weekend coup. The delegation had been due to arrive in the capital on 9 September however two sources in Guinea’s junta have disclosed that the delegation was delayed to Friday. ECOWAS has suspended Guinea’s members from the bloc though it stopped short of imposing further sanctions. The ECOWAS delegation will be led by the Commission President Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, Ghana’s Foreign Affairs Minister Shirly Botchway and Burkina Faso’s Foreign Minister Alpha Barry. A high-ranking regional official disclosed on Thursday that the envoys will push the junta to appoint a “credible” civilian prime minister as soon as possible in order to help steer Guinea back towards constitutional order.

    The African Union (AU) has suspended Guinea in the wake of Sunday’s coup, according to a tweet on 10 September from the AU’s Political Affairs Peace and Security Department.

    Meanwhile in Guinea, junta leader Colonel Mamady Doumbouya continues to strengthen his hold on power, ordering the central bank and other banks on Thursday to freeze all government accounts. A junta spokesman announced on the national broadcaster that the banking freeze was aimed at “securing state assets,” adding that “this includes public administrative and commercial establishments in all ministries and the presidency, presidential programmes and projects, members of the outgoing government as well as senior officials and administrators of state financial institutions.”

    Within the international community, the United States on Thursday, disclosed that it was not involved in the military seizure of power after a video emerged on social media of US soldiers in a crowd of jubilant Guineans as events unfolded on Sunday. In a statement, the US State Department disclosed that prior to the coup, a small team of US service members were engaged in a joint training exercise outside the capital Conakry. The statement went on to say that “given the changing security situation, it was decided that the team would be relocated to the US Embassy in Conakry. Guinean security forces provided an escort to Conakry to ensure the safe passage of the team,” adding that the video appeared to depict part of that relocation.

    MS Risk Advisory

    Movement restrictive measures, telecommunications disruptions, and disruptions to state and business operations are likely to continue in the coming days. Clashes between rival security force factions may also continue after clashes erupted on 5 September resulting in the death of five military personnel. Further public gatherings in response to developments are likely nationwide and these could be in favour of the coup or in support of the Condé government. Any gathering is likely to be met by a security force deployment. Clashes are possible at all protest locations.

    Anyone considering travelling to Guinea is advised to defer travel until the situation stabilizes. Anyone currently in Guinea, including in Conakry and in other major city centres, is advised to monitor the local media and to maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Avoid concentrations of security personnel. Avoid all protests as they may turn violent with little warning. Plan for road travel delays and reconfirm all scheduled transport services, including flights, prior to departure.

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