Francis Atwoli calls for restoration of civil rule in Guinea, asks AU to intervene

ACCRA (The Southern African Times) – The Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) has petitioned the African Union Commission (AUC) to intervene and ensure restoration of civil rule in Guinea and the release of ousted President Alpha Condé.

In his address to the AUC chairperson Mr Moussa Faki on Tuesday, OATUU President Francis Atwoli called for the immediate intervention of the commission to restore normalcy in the West African nation.

 “In my capacity as the President of the Organization of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) which is a Pan-African trade union organisation that represents 73 affiliated national trade union centres drawn from the 54 African countries, I am writing to seek the immediate intervention of the African Union in ensuring the restoration of civilian rule in Guinea-Conakry and the release of President Alpha Condé to continue with his constitutional mandate,” Dr Atwoli wrote.

Issues of Coup d’état in the African continent, he noted, were “primitive, uncouth and crude methods used in the yesteryears to gain power.”

 “…but considering we have over time embraced democracy, freedom of speech, peace and tolerance such advised methods should not be encouraged or used to gain power,” said Dr Atwoli in his petition dated September 7, 2021.

Dr Atwoli, who is on a continental assignment in Seychelles, challenged the leadership of the commission to move with speed and consolidate the support of other African States, including the support of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) and other Regional Economic Communities (REC), to intervene and restore democracy in Guinea-Conakry.

 “They must, in the process, make sure that president Condé is released and if need be for any changes, a constitutional process be followed,” said Dr Atwoli who is also the Central Organization of Trade Unions (K) Secretary General.

He went on: “I say this knowing all too well that as a continent, we are alive to the challenges that Guinea Conakry is facing and we appreciate the fact that they can be addressed by a constitutional way and not through coups.”

The leader of the Guinea coup Col Mamady Doumbouya said a new “union” government would be formed in weeks.

He told ministers who served in Mr Condé’s government that there would be no witch-hunt against former officials even as president Condé remains in detention with his fate unclear.

In Dr Atwoli’s assignment in Seychelles that began Monday, the Cotu boss is set to meet both the Seychelles Federation of Workers’ Unions and the newly elected government and understand the relationship between the two social partners.

This assignment follows an invitation by the union requesting for his visit to enlighten the newly elected government on the role of trade unions as champions of social justice and the role of government as a regulator and a g guarantor of industrial peace

“Equally, the Secretary General will touch on the importance of tripartism making reference to the provisions of International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention 144 on tripartite consultations among the social partners which has been a big challenge to the government as there has been no formal consultations on many decisions,” read a statement from Cotu.

He is also expected to address the parties on the importance of observing and respecting ILO Conventions 87 and 98 on freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, respectively.

“Dr Atwoli will share with both the union and the government his experiences over the years and the growth of the labour movement in Kenya. This is important bearing in mind Seychelles is a small county that highly depends on tourism and thus industrial peace is important for the economic development of the country,” the statement said.

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