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West African Mediator to Meet Rivals in Guinea Political Crisis

West African Mediator to Meet Rivals in Guinea Political Crisis
West African Mediator to Meet Rivals in Guinea Political Crisis

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Burkina Faso's president will meet again with members of Guinea's military government and its political opponents as part of regional mediation to end the crisis.The two sides remain divided over the composition of a transitional authority.

Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua believes regional mediation efforts are on course to resolve Guinea's political crisis peacefully.  He is the current chairman of the Economic Community of West African States and says mediation will achieve the desired objectives.

Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore is leading those mediation efforts and briefed President Yar'Adua on his progress.  President Compaore says establishing dialogue between the two sides has brought stability to the country, following the deaths of more than 150 opposition demonstrators in September.

They were protesting the expected presidential candidacy of military ruler Captain Moussa Camara when soldiers opened fire inside Conakry's main sports stadium.  The violence brought an ECOWAS arms embargo against Guinea and stepped up international pressure on Captain Camara.

President Compaore meets again with the two sides Thursday in Ouagadougou to discuss conditions for a transitional government.
 

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The leading opposition coalition of political parties, civil society groups, and trade unions says it will not take part in any interim authority unless Captain Camara first gives up power.

Ibrahim Diakite, a spokesman for the Party of New Democratic Forces, says the opposition alliance appreciates the ECOWAS mediation and remains united in demanding that Captain Camara step down and his military government be dissolved to put in place more credible institutions to oversee a transition to free and transparent elections.

Guinea's military rulers say civilians have no authority to push the military from power.

Keletigui Toure is the political counselor of the Assembly for Revival Party, which is close to Guinea's ruling military council.

Toure says civil society groups are taking an intransigent position toward resolving a crisis that involves all Guineans.  

In all sincerity, Toure says the ruling military council is looking for an appropriate solution to the crisis and is not trying to block the process.  He says the military government's position is that Captain Camara will still have authority over a transitional government and a new prime minister will be chosen by consensus.
 

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