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Guinea Opposition Doubts Junta’s Cooperation in Massacre Probe


Guinea's opposition coalition is expressing doubt the military junta will cooperate fully with an international commission's investigation into the recent massacre of unarmed pro-democracy protesters.

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Junta leader Captain Dadis Moussa Camara sent a letter to the international commission promising his administration's cooperation in the upcoming investigation.

But the opposition dismissed Camara's promise as contemptible, saying the junta leader has often failed to keep his word.

The United Nations reported last month that more than 150 people were killed and dozens wounded when the military shot dead unarmed Guineans protesting against Camara's possible presidential candidacy.

Chairman of the opposition New Generation for the Republic Abe Sylla said that the opposition coalition will help with the massacre investigation.

"If he (Camara) sticks to what he says, that is great because that is what ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) proposed (and) that is what the opposition wants. But he has to cooperate fully with the international investigator from the United Nations," Sylla said.

He reiterated the opposition's skepticism of Camara's pledge.

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"(It's) because he has not (stood) behind his words since the beginning of this process. When they first took the power, he stood in front of everybody in the country and declared that he will (hold) a free election. (But) six months later went back (on) what he has originally promised," he said.

Sylla said the genesis of Guinea's instability could be attributed to Camara's failure to keep his word.

"That is really the trigger point of all these problems we've been facing," Sylla said.

He said Guineans seem to have lost confidence in the junta.

"Nobody in Guinea…whether the opposition or even the supporters (doubt) what he promised or says," he said.

Last month, Guinea's military opened fire on unarmed opposition protesters angry that junta leader Camara wanted to run for president in next year's election.

Sylla said the opposition coalition will help with the massacre investigation.

"We are going to play a very big role because most of the dead and the wounded from various parties and the leadership of the party… are right now gathering… all the people who were wounded, those who were dead, and those who are missing, and those who were raped. So we have a team putting all those together," Sylla said.

He dismissed suggestions that the opposition is to blame for the massacre.

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"That is ridiculous (because) number one it is our right (and) it's in our constitution to have a meeting held anytime we want with our followers, and this meeting (was) taking place in a confined environment in the stadium," he said.

Sylla said the opposition was within its right to assemble last month, as stipulated in the constitution.

"We were not out there trying to…destabilize the government. We were down there to convene our meeting and to show that we (were) against his (Camara's) candidacy to the presidency," Sylla said.

The European Union is reportedly expecting soon to impose an arms embargo on the military junta over the massacre.

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