Guinea's Military Orders Probe of Protester Massacre
By Peter Clottey
08 October 2009
Guinea's military leader, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara has ordered an investigation into the recent massacre of opposition supporters.
United Nations officials in Guinea said more than 150 people were killed and thousands wounded last month after the military opened fire on an unarmed crowd gathered in a stadium to protest Camara's rule.
Washington condemned the massacre, describing it as criminality of the greatest order.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton demanded an apology from the junta and urged it to relinquish power.
Abbou Konate, an independent Guinean journalist said that there is an uneasy calm over the capital, Conakry.
"As I'm talking, all the Guineans are waiting for the meeting which must be set up in Ouagadougou with the president of Burkina Faso Blaise Compaore who was last Monday was in Conakry here, and he got some discussions with the head of the junta Captain Dadis Camara and the opposition leaders," Konate said.
President Blaise Compaore has invited Captain Camara and his political opponents to Ouagadougou for talks on finding a lasting solution to the months-old crisis.
Konate said Guineans are anxious to hear a date when the junta leader and the opposition will decide to accept the Burkinabe leader's invitation.
"All the Guineans today are waiting for this date. People don't talk about the date yet, but everybody is waiting," Konate said.
He said tensions are high in the capital, Conakry.
"There is no movement in Conakry like before the crisis where we can see Captain Dadis supporters with flyers and going on the streets or the opposition supporters also on the street dancing and asking Captain Dadis Camara to leave the power," he said.
Konate said the opposition is demanding the resignation of the junta leader before engaging in any negotiations.
"The political leaders made a statement and they said they will not accept to continue the discussion with Captain Dadis and with the junta until Captain Dadis is (no more) the president of Guinea," Konate said
He said the opposition is also demanding the release of political prisoners.
"They are also asking to (release) the persons who were arrested hours after the stadium slaughter," he said.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchnar accused the junta leader of personal involvement in last week's stadium massacre.
But Konate said the military leader rejects the accusation.
"Dadis Camara is denying and he said that he never sent the soldiers to the stadium to kill the (people)… and since the crisis happened this is his argument," Konate said.
He said the former head of the presidential bodyguard is blamed for ordering the massacre.
Captain Dadis Camara seized power shortly after Guinea's long time President Lansana Conte died.
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