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After last week's massacre of dozens of Guineans by government security
forces, youth organizations have decided to band together. They are
organizing a hunger strike as a way to non-violently address the
youth of Guinea are searching for a way to publicly protest the
September 28 massacre that occurred at a Conakry stadium. Theirno
Balde, President of the Federation of Guinean Youth Associations, says
that is one reason behind their efforts to organize a hunger strike for
"I think by organizing a hunger strike, people will
know that we are committed to getting involved in this by using
peaceful means," he said.
Bolde adds the purpose of the hunger
strike is to address last week's events in a non-violent manner and ask
that all parties involved gather together to resolve the issue.
week's massacre occurred when more than 50,000 demonstraters gathered
to protest the anticipated presidential candidacy of the country's
current military ruler, Moussa Dadis Camara. Human rights groups say at
least 157 people were killed last week. The military says 57 people
were killed, most in the crush of protesters fleeing the stadium.
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Camara came to power in Guinea last December in a bloodless coup
launched hours after longtime president Lansana Conte died.
"This is a political issue, and it will stay a political issue, and they have to find a political solution," he said.
adds the youth cannot demonstrate in the streets for fear of provoking
violent reactions from police. The hunger strike is also meant to call
for the punishment of those who killed the civilians.
organizing a hunger strike, we will send a message to all of them that
we are not willing to take any risk, but at the same time, we are not
willing just to sit and not to do anything. If people know that they
can do whatever they want, without any punishment, they will just go
ahead," said Bolde.
Guinea's military government recently
announced it will launch what it calls an independent investigation
into last week's killing of opposition demonstrators by security forces.
African Union suspended Guinea following Captain Camara's December
coup. The AU says it will sanction him later this month unless he makes
clear that he will not be a candidate in elections scheduled for
Bolde adds that no matter what happens, it will be the youth who pay the higher price.