On September 5, 2021, Lieutenant Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya, head of the Guinean Special Forces unit, staged a coup d'etat and deposed President Alpha Condé. Condé had won a contentious third mandate in 2020 after pushing through a controversial constitution that undermined presidential term limits and plunged the country into political turmoil. Following the coup, a military junta dissolved government institutions; suspended the constitution; and created a National Committee of the Rally for Development (Comité national du rassemblement pour le développement - CNRD) to make political decisions. The exact composition of the CNRD is not public, a concern to many Guineans. In the six months since the coup, the CNRD has put in place an interim legislative body, the National Transition Council (CNT), and a number of other transitional institutions. However, they have not released a timeline for constitutional and electoral reforms and the organization of elections.
From March 9-15, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) conducted a technical assessment mission to Conakry, Guinea to gauge citizens’ priorities during the transition process following the coup d'etat, and to explore possibilities for technical assistance to civilian-led institutions and civil society organizations working to ensure an inclusive, transparent and credible transition. The delegation was composed of Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh, NDI senior associate and regional director for Central and West Africa; Mr. Alioune Tine, director of Afrikajom Center (Senegal); Ms. Ulrike Rodgers, NDI program director for Francophone West Africa; Mr. Kevin Adomayakpor, NDI resident director in Burkina Faso; and Mr. Paul Komivi Sémeko Amegakpo, NDI resident director in Guinea.
The delegation met with: Transition President, Col. Mamadi Doumbouya; Prime Minister Mohamed Béavogui; National Transition Council (CNT) president, Dr. Dansa Kourouma, and members of the CNT executive bureau; Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization (MATD) Mr. Mory Condé; Minister, general secretary in charge of religious affairs, El Hadj Karamo Diawara; leaders of four political party coalitions representing all registered parties in the country; leaders of a cross section of civil society organizations, including media associations; traditional leaders from the four geopolitical regions of the country; and representatives of the diplomatic community.
NDI shared its findings and recommendations during a press conference in Conakry on March 15. The delegation noted a strong desire among many Guineans for meaningful dialogue with their compatriots, as well as widespread hope that the ongoing transition to civilian, democratic rule would be successful and enduring. Many are yearning for steps towards national reconciliation to heal wounds and overcome Guinea’s deep political and ethnic divides. The delegation also took note of citizens’ concerns about the absence of a transition timeline and the lack of transparency surrounding the CNRD’s membership.
NDI noted, with the exception of the interim legislative body, women are poorly represented within the transitional government. While 24 of the CNT’s 81 members are women, only one of eight governors is female. None of the 33 senior divisional officers (prefects) or 304 sub-divisional officers (sub-prefects) are women.
To enhance confidence in the military’s commitment to a return to democratic rule, the delegation recommended that the transitional government release a transition timeline, and organize inclusive consultations among all major stakeholders to foster better and stronger lines of communication with political and civic stakeholders.
Read the delegation’s full statement in English and French. NDI will publish a more detailed report this spring.
Author: Emily Fournier, Program Officer, Central & West Africa