Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Guinea Massacre Toll Hits 157

•France suspends military cooperation

France has suspended military ties with Guinea after more than 157 people were killed in a "savage and bloody" crackdown on opposition protesters, Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said yesterday.
President Nicolas Sarkozy's government is also reviewing bilateral aid with the former French colony and has called for an European Union meeting to be held in Brussels on Wednesday to discuss "additional measures."
"France reiterates its condemnation of this savage and bloody repression," said Kouchner in a statement.
"France has decided to immediately suspend its military cooperation with Guinea. It is also examining the full scope of its bilateral aid" to the west African country he added.
The Guinean Human Rights Organisation said at least 157 people were killed and more than 1,250 wounded when Guinean troops opened fire on protesters in the capital Conakry on Monday.
The United Nations, African Union and European Union all expressed alarm over the killings among tens of thousands of people who attended the rally against junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara.
Camara confirmed the outbreak of violence in a radio interview on Monday but declined to give a figure for casualties.
A similar statement made available to THISDAY yesterday said France calls on the National Council for Democracy and Development (CNDD) to show responsibility and to heed the legitimate aspiration of the Guinean people to democratically designate its leaders.
On this note the country obwerved that compliance with the commitment freely entered into by Captain Camara, before the international community, not to stand in the 2010 presidential election, is likely to secure a return to calm.