Regional envoys arrive in Guinea for talks

Envoys from West Africa's main political and economic bloc arrived in the Guinean capital on Friday (September 10) for talks with the junta following a coup that ousted President Alpha Conde.

The delegation from the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States - or ECOWAS- will push for a "credible" civilian prime minister as soon as possible.

It is hoping to help guide the country back towards constitutional order, according to a high-ranking regional official.

As it moves to strengthen its hold on power, the junta led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, ordered the central bank and other banks on Thursday to freeze all government accounts to secure state assets.

Doumbouya and the other special forces soldiers behind Sunday's (September 5) coup said they ousted Conde because of concerns about poverty and endemic corruption.

West Africa's third putsch since April has intensified fears of a backslide towards military rule in the region, which had been starting to shed its "coup-belt" reputation.

Regional leaders suspended Guinea's membership of the ECOWAS bloc on Wednesday (September 8), but stopped short of imposing further sanctions.

The African Union announced on Friday (September 10) that it has suspended Guinea from all its activities and decision-making bodies because of the coup, backing the decision by ECOWAS leaders.

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