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Guinea Military, Opponents Agree to Burkinabe Mediation


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Guinea's military government and its political opponents have agreed to meet in Burkina Faso, as part of regional mediation following last week's killing of at least 157 opposition demonstrators.

Both sides have accepted Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore's invitation to meet in Burkina Faso, in the coming days, to discuss the political crisis.

Military ruler Captain Moussa Dadis Camara is offering to form an interim government, following last Monday's killing of people protesting his expected run for the presidency. Guinea's political leaders are rejecting that offer, saying the military's violent repression of dissent makes internal dialogue impossible.

President Compaore met with both sides in Conakry as a regional mediator for the Economic Community of West African States.

President Compaore says it is intolerable that some people in Guinea remain in detention without evidence, following the violence of September 28; that the bodies of some people have not been found; and, that some injured people are not being treated.

He says he suggested ways to improve general security by preventing members of Guinea's military from carrying their heavy weapons in the city and sleeping with them in their homes. The Burkinabe leader says these are things that should be done immediately.

President Compaore says he also spoke about the need for the media to present balanced coverage. He says it is essential for everyone in Guinea to understand that there is no other solution, apart from political dialogue.

Guinea is already suspended from the African Union because of the coup that brought Captain Camara to power last December. Further condemnation of the military government following last week's violence was swift - even from regional leaders who have supported Captain Camara, including Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner is calling for international intervention. He says the Sarkozy administration can no longer work with Guinea's ruling military council.

Captain Camara says he is not responsible for the violence and will not respond to Kouchner because he is only a foreign minister, not a fellow head of state.