GENEVA — Paris and Washington want an international probe into last month's massacre by Guinean troops of opposition demonstrators in Conakry, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said on Saturday.
"There is a common position between the United States and us... we want an international commission of enquiry," Kouchner said after meeting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Zurich. "The killing of all these women, all these children, is really an unbearable event," Kouchner said.
The United Nations says that at least 150 people were killed when government troops opened fire on a demonstration at a Conakry stadium calling for junta leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara not to stand for election. Amid mounting international pressure on Camara, rights groups have also reported many cases of rape and other abuses at the stadium, where more than 1,200 people were injured. France suspects that Camara "took part in the decision" which led to the massacre, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday. Camara seized power in December last year after the death of Guinean strongman Lansana Conte, who had ruled the resource-rich west African country since 1984.
A delegation of members of the Guinean opposition, including witnesses to the massacre, left for Abuja on Saturday to attend a special meeting of the ECOWAS regional grouping on Monday. Foreign ministers from the Economic Community of West African States will discuss the massacre. The bloc has already named Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore to try to reduce tensions in Guinea.