Guinea Pulls Out of Mediation Talks
Guinea Pulls Out of Mediation Talks

International mediation efforts resume in the Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou to discuss a power sharing agreement presented by regional mediator Blaise Compaore.

President Compaore is proposing a 30-member transitional authority to return Guinea to civilian rule following last December's coup. The plan gives ten seats to the military, ten to the opposition coalition of politicians and labor leaders, and ten to other groups.

It is those other groups that led the opposition coalition to reject that plan because it believes those groups would be closely allied to the military, thus giving it a majority in the interim administration.

The military council this past week announced that it would not return to those mediation efforts until military leader Captain Mousa Dadis Camara recovers from being shot by members of the presidential guard ten days ago.

But the military government has since reversed that decision, with Prime Minister Kabine Komara saying negotiations must continue "in a spirit that takes the current situation into account."

Following talks with the country's acting leader Defense Minister Sekouba Konate, the prime minister said concessions must be made in Ouagadougou because, "Everyone needs to understand that the higher interest of the nation must prevail."

State-run radio says the military's decision to return to mediation shows that Captain Camara is in good health, that the ruling council remains strong, and that Guinea is a stable country where the situation is under control.

Captain Camara is recovering from gunshot wounds in a Moroccan hospital. While his condition is reportedly stable, it is not known when he might return to Guinea.

The former aide-de-camp responsible for his shooting remains at large with an unknown number of presidential guardsmen.

Acting leader Konate says the search for those men continues. The defense minister has spent much of the last week touring military camps in the capital calling for discipline and respect for civilians.

That approach has drawn cautious praise from some of the military's political opponents, especially following the army's killing of opposition demonstrators two months ago.

The leader of the Union of the Republican Forces party former prime minister Sidya Toure says Konate has made a "good start" by condemning violence and calling for discipline.

Human rights leader Cherif Mohamed Abdallah says it is an improvement.

Abdallah says the army must protect civilians, and he appreciates what General Konate is telling soldiers following the recent violence. Abdallah says he believes the general is a patriot who is a good Guinean.

Diplomats in Conakry note that during his calls for discipline this past week, Konate has been accompanied by presidential security advisor Claude Pivi in an apparent sign of unity between two powerful members of the ruling council, both of whom are in position to claim leadership in Captain Camara's absence.