Guinea junta tells central bank to freeze government accounts

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
  • Guinea's leaders ordered the central bank to freeze government accounts.
  • A spokesperson said the move was to protect government assets.
  • The country had a coup to remove President Alpha Conde.

Guinea's military junta, which seized power over the weekend, said on Thursday that it has ordered the central bank and other banks to freeze all government accounts.

On Sunday, a group of special forces soldiers said they ousted President Alpha Conde over concerns about poverty and endemic corruption.

READ | ECOWAS suspends Guinea after coup

The banking freeze was aimed at "securing state assets", a junta spokesperson announced on the national broadcaster.

"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," the spokesperson said.

A mining boom propelled strong economic growth during Conde's decade in power, but surveys suggest Guineans thought corruption has increased in recent years, while dissatisfaction with the economy and living conditions has also risen.


A delegation of West African leaders was due in Guinea on Friday to assess the situation following the coup that has raised fears of a backslide toward military rule in the region.

Leaders from the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) condemned the coup on Wednesday and called on the military to release Conde, who was arrested during the takeover.

They also suspended Guinea's membership in ECOWAS, the region's main political and economic group, but fell short of threatening sanctions.

ECOWAS president Jean-Claude Kassi Brou and Ghana's foreign affairs minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, will lead the bloc's delegation in Guinea, but the bloc provided few details.

One high-ranking regional official said ECOWAS wanted the junta to appoint a "credible" civilian prime minister as soon as possible to help steer Guinea back toward constitutional order.

The bloc had been due in the Guinean capital, Conakry, on Thursday, but two sources in Guinea's junta said the delegation was delayed to Friday.

ECOWAS did not immediately respond to calls for comment.

It could face a challenge trying to influence events in Guinea after struggling to impose its will in Mali, also in West Africa, where two coups since August 2020 have left military leader Assimi Goita in charge despite repeated ECOWAS warnings.

Those two coups and another in Chad in April have renewed concerns about the return of military rule in a region that had made strides toward multi-party democracy since the 1990s.

Life in the capital Conakry has started to return to normal, with traffic and street hawkers clogging the streets.

The only roads still manned by military checkpoints were those leading towards the Kaloum peninsula, the capital's administrative centre and home to the presidential palace.

Fears that the power struggle could hinder Guinea's production of bauxite, a mineral used to make aluminium, have begun to ease. The country's largest foreign operators say they have continued work without interruption.

Never miss a story. Choose from our range of newsletters to get the news you want delivered straight to your inbox.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()
Voting Booth
Do you think the wardens deployed across Gauteng will make a dent in curbing crime?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
No, proper policing is needed
79% - 3866 votes
Yes, anything will help at this point
21% - 1019 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.