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Guinea Opposition Hails UN Commission Investigation

The opposition coalition in Guinea has welcomed the United Nations Security Council's approval of a commission to investigate the recent massacre.

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More than 150 opposition supporters were killed by the military last month during a protest against the possible candidacy of junta leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara.

The UN Security Council sharply condemned the massacre and called on the military junta to try the perpetrators.

The junta has pledged to support the investigation.

Bashir Bah, one of the leading members of Guinea's opposition coalition said that Guineans initially expressed worry that China could veto a UN commission to investigate the massacre.

"That is a good move and we salute the decision. A lot of people in Guinea and around the world were scared about the potential veto from China since they signed a bogus deal with Guinea. But that is a very good move from the Security Council and we are delighted about it," Bah said.

He said the commission to investigate the massacre will put more pressure on the military leadership.

"We think that it is going to improve the pressure on the junta to relinquish power," he said.

Bah said the military government seems to have very little support.

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"For the opposition it is just a good achievement since we know now the whole world is condemning the junta. There is no voice that supports them. Everybody realizes it is a rogue regime that is condemned," Bah said.

He called for an international military intervention to protect the ordinary Guinean.

"Now we need to move to the next step that will be to set up a force to protect the inquiry and protect people in Guinea and push the junta to relinquish power. It is a good step in the right direction," he said.

Bah said the Security Council has granted the opposition's demands for an international inquiry into the massacre.

"This is a good step because we have been calling for a long time for a special envoy in Guinea to take care of all the matters related to protecting unarmed civilians making sure that sanctions are enforced…so these are the measures that we have been calling for and today's resolution goes towards that achievement," Bah said.

The European Union recently announced punitive measures against Guineas' military leadership for being responsible to gross violation of human rights, including many deaths, injuries and rape.

The sanctions include freezing of finances and ban on visas for travel to Europe.

Twenty people, including junta leaders and associates are targeted by the sanctions, the bloc's Swedish presidency said in a statement after the meeting.

Bah said the opposition also supports the European Union sanctions against the junta although describing the move as not going far enough.

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"We don't have a problem (with the sanctions) we just said it doesn't go far enough because some of the people that are in this list are in prison by the junta following internal disputes," Bah said.

He said the opposition will soon come up with a list of those behind last month's massacre.

"We are working really seriously about providing a comprehensive list that will allow more targeted sanctions that is really going to really deal with the people that are involved with the massacre," he said.

The United Nations says 157 people were killed when army troops attacked unarmed opposition protesters September 28 at a rally in the capital, Conakry. Rights groups say the bloody crackdown was premeditated and aimed at terrorizing opponents of military rule.

Meanwhile, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) last week suspended Guinea from its membership for proceeding with the legislative elections despite the bloc's call to suspend the vote.

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