ACCRA, July 4 (Xinhua) -- The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has appointed former Beninese President Thomas Yayi Boni as its new mediator for the transition in Guinea.
Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, president of the ECOWAS Commission, made the announcement at a press briefing on Sunday to conclude the 61st Ordinary Session of the authority of ECOWAS heads of state and government in the Ghanaian capital, Accra.
Boni will replace Ghanaian diplomat Mohamed Ibn Chambas, who stepped down as the ECOWAS mediator.
"Chambas announced his decision to step down voluntarily as the mediator to the authority of heads of state during the ordinary session. The heads of state accepted his decision and decided to appoint Yayi Boni as the new mediator," Brou said.
He said the heads of state expected the new mediator to guide the Guinean authorities to draw a new transitional calendar by the end of July.
"They have to present their new transitional timetable for the return to constitutional order to ECOWAS by the end of July or risk further sanctions," Brou said. "In the meantime, the existing sanctions against Guinea remain in force."
On June 4, ECOWAS rejected a proposal by the military leaders of Guinea for a 36-month-long transitional period.
Brou said at the time that ECOWAS delayed the implementation of sanctions on Guinea following a military coup last year because the Guinean leaders had asked for some time to present a timetable for transition.
"The authority of the heads of state and government of ECOWAS considered that 36 months is not acceptable, and asked that consultations continue so we find a solution for this timetable," Brou told a press conference following an ECOWAS extraordinary session.
On Sept. 5, 2021, Lt-Col. Mamady Doumbouya announced that his forces had arrested President Alpha Conde and dissolved the government and national institutions.
ECOWAS responded immediately by suspending Guinea's membership and announcing sanctions on the coup leaders.
Doumbouya was sworn in as Guinea's transitional president on Oct. 1, 2021.