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Guinea: “International Community’s intervention is needed” 0

Guinea’s military leader banned all gatherings and demonstrations and called for two days of mourning starting Wednesday after troops opened fire on 50,000 pro-democracy protesters at a stadium rally earlier this week, AP reported.

The atmosphere is still heavy. Toure, a former prime minister, was arrested during the protests and released Tuesday, while Capt. Moussa “Dadis” Camara appeared on state television late Tuesday, blaming the opposition for acting irresponsibly in Monday’s demonstration and calling for an inquiry.

Eyewitnesses told New York-based Human Rights Watch that security forces stripped female protesters and raped them in the streets during Monday’s protest. The rights group, citing eyewitness reports, said soldiers also stabbed protesters with knives and bayonets.

Afronline interviewed Thierno Maadjou Sow, President of the Guinean Organization for the Human Rights Defence, on the recent protests and the slaughter made by the army.

Mister Diow, what climate is breathing in Conakry?

Even though this morning the situation turned into a more normal atmosphere, tension is still very high. Last night, the army went on searching houses of supposed opponents and militants charged of having caused the 28 September disorders. But the truth is that this is just an excuse to steal and be violent against civilians. Citizens are already victims of a repression that until now has killed at least 160 people – among them three young people killed yesterday evening – and more than 1,200 wounded people. The Guinean population is shocked.

In the meantime, junta has established two days of national mourning after the massacre on Monday at the stadium and forbidden “until new order” every “subversive” demonstration…

I don’t think that this decision could mine the fury which pervades a slice of the Guinean young people. Many of them want to go on until the fall of President Dadis Camara’S regime. Unfortunately, we have to expect the worst. The opposition and civil society have set two days of national mourning in the victims’ memory too, and the responsible people are clearly identifiable.

During an interview released by Radio France International, President Camara rejected every responsibility underlining that he has no control over the army.

How can a head of state declare that he does not control his soldiers? When he came to power in January 2009, Dadis declared that he was chosen by soldiers because of his influence on the army. Today he sustains the contrary. This is such a serious assertion! But the truth is that his declaration leaves a lot of perplexity. If he really hadn’t the full control on the situation, how could it be possible that there were public personalities linked to him who really influence Guinean power at the stadium?

Who are these people?

Firstly, Diakité Toumba, Camara’s bodyguard. Usually he is always at the President’s side, but curiously on September 28 he was at the stadium, near the soldiers with red hats, the presidential guard. At the stadium we saw the Minister for Security too, Tivi, who is know for being one of the biggest criminals IN Guinea, and Moussa Tiébgoro Camara, Minister for the fight against drugs and bandits. They are three key-role people of this regime and faithful to the PresidenT. How can President Dadis Camara claim that he didn’t know anything at all about what was going to happen at the stadium? It was a planned massacre with the aim to destroy the opposition. Unfortunately the relationship between power and population is leading to a point where it is impossible to go back.

So there is any possibility to create a dialogue?

I don’t think so. This country has been living for years under a militaristic repression. When Camara came to power he swore to the people that he would reformed the army and settle democratic elections to give the Presidency’s keys to civilians. But the massacre of September 28 revealed Camara’s true face: a demagogue who would stop at nothing to keep his and the army’s power. But the Guinean population doesn’t want to have anything to do with the army anymore. In order to avoid another bloodbath it is necessary that the International Community intervene with determination of sending a peacekeeping force. Otherwise, young Guineans will make a revolution by themselves.

By Joshua Massarenti – Afronline

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