Supporters of Guinea's ruling military council say sanctions threatened
by the African Union are unfair but the AU says it will impose them anyway if the
country's military ruler decides to run for president.
The African Union Peace and Security Council is giving Captain Moussa
Dadis Camara one month to make his intentions known.
45-year-old took power last December, he said none of the coup leaders
would run for president. Now political supporters are urging him to
stand as a candidate in January elections. Captain Camara has not
formally announced his candidacy, but he has told supporters that he
will not insult them by ignoring their demands.
Union says it is concerned about the "deteriorating situation" in
Guinea and the consequences for not returning to constitutional order.
So the alliance has decided to impose unspecified sanctions against
Captain Camara in October if he does not make clear that he is not
running for president.
The captain's supporters say that is not
fair. Pokpa Dopovogui joined demonstrators outside the African Union
offices in Conakry.
"We support the patriot Dadis. He is the president and he is
going to be the president. We do not want sanctions,
but even if there are sanctions, life in Guinea will be better with
Captain Camara, so Dadis or death," said Dopovogui.
He also says Guinea does not need the international community because without
it Guinea will have a better life. He says the
country can develop and move forward without the African Union,
the Economic Community of West African States or the United Nations.
Dopovogui says the National Revival Party is going to present Captain
Camara as its candidate in 2010.
After taking power, Captain
Camara said there would be no elections this year. But he eventually
agreed with a coalition of political parties, labor unions, civil
society groups and religious leaders to hold legislative elections
next month and a presidential vote in December.
have now been postponed and their order reversed with presidential
balloting in January and legislative elections in March.
National Labor Confederation Secretary General Hadja Rabiatou Sera
Diallo says AU sanctions reflect what is going on in Guinea.
says the African Union is playing its role and that it has
principles to be followed and respected. She says those principles were in place were before this crisis in Guinea. Just because there is the
crisis in Guinea, the African Union is not going to renounce its
principles, neither will the United Nations. They will never do it.
is why, Diallo continues, it is the responsibility of all Guineans to think
about these sanctions and for religious leaders to get involved in
finding a solution. If there are sanctions, who will be the first
victims, she asks. It is the poorest people who are going to suffer
and women who will be most affected by sanctions, not the other
people. That is why she says everyone in Guinea must think about
finding a solution to this crisis since everyone knows what we need.
says the trade union's appeal is to all Guineans. She does not want to
divide the people of Guinea from the military because all civilians
have someone in their family who is in the military. Soldiers are
Guinean. We are all Guinean, she says, and we all have
responsibilities. It is not for the president or for the ruling
military council alone to decide.
Guinea's ruling council this
month banned all radio and television call-in shows because people were
complaining about Captain Camara's expected candidacy. That ban was
eventually lifted, following talks with Guinea's radio and television
union, which had said the measure violated freedom of expression.