Sunday, October 4, 2009

Guinea junta leader vows to counter foreign intervention

Guinean junta leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara has vowed to fight any foreign intervention forces that would be deployed in the country.

Guinea opposition had requested external support following last week’s massacre of an estimated 200 civilians by junta forces.

The appeal was preceded by a similar call by the Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade at the UN General Assembly nearly a fortnight ago. President Wade said that such an intervention would help forestall an imminent political upheaval in Guinea.

President Wade, 83, widely seen as the ‘godfather’ of the Guinean junta leader, made the appeal at the UN following a day-long visit he and the Liberian

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf had paid Capt Camara, in a bid to facilitate dialogue between the junta and the Guinean civilian opposition politicians.

“The situation in Guinea is volatile as tension is rife between the junta regime and the civilian politicians, and I believe an intervention force is needed immediately to forestall the situation from degenerating into a chaos,” President Wade, told his peers at the UN in New York.

But Capt Camara, in a head-strong reaction to both appeals at the weekend, told the press that he had seen no reason for foreign intervention.
Capt Camara argued that “there were no protagonists at the moment in the Guinean political landscape”.

“I am in full control of the Guinean state,” he said, acknowledging for the umpteenth time, however, that there was an army in the country that he did not have complete control over.

That is why, he went on, “I have agreed that an international and independent investigation must be conducted in Guinea in order to prove my innocence in the killing of civilians,” and to ensure that those guilty are punished.

He said calm had returned to the entire country and could therefore not see the reason why any intervention forces could be sent to Guinea.

Countries within the Mano River Union, including Sierra Leone, Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire and of which Guinea is also a member, were most likely to have been the first to dispatch forces to Guinea.

Senegalese President came to the rescue of Capt Dadis following his military takeover.

The neighbours’ intervention would likely have been followed by the conventional and standby forces of the Economic Community of West African States or ECOMOG, which had intervened in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Both the Ecowas and the UN are still following the developments in Guinea closely and would take cue from the Burkina Faso leader, Blaise Compaore, who has been named by his peers to broker a dialogue in Guinea,

President Compaore begins his mandate there tomorrow.

Taken hostage

In an earlier interview with the international press, Capt Camara said he had been taken hostage by the army on the one hand and the civilians, who wanted him to contest the presidency billed for February 2010.

Explaining further, he said, if he decided to step down at this moment, his colleagues in the army would interpret that to mean guilt and as such another military officer would certainly seize power. Such a scenario, he reasoned, would perpetuate the political stalemate in Guinea.
On the other hand, he said if he decided to back out of the political scene, the civilians agitating for him to contest the presidency under the group dubbed “Dadis Must Stay”, will translate his action as an outright betrayal and he would not like to be seen in that light.
Capt Dadis argued that it was in an attempt to counter-balance the situation, that he had decided that a government of national unity be formed to restore political dialogue.
But the Guinean opposition, united under the outfit Forces Vives, or “Active Forces”, have vehemently rejected the offer, arguing that such a move was tantamount to opening a dialogue with “a criminal and rogue regime”.
The opposition has vowed to maintain the pressure on the junta until it backs out of politics before elections could be held.
“Capt Dadis is bent on hoodwinking the local and international community with lies and false promises that were jeopardising the political process in the country. This will stop or else we will not relent in our struggle,” the opposition cried during an interview with the foreign media on Thursday.
Meanwhile, pressure continues to mount on the junta from the international community, including threat of sanctions.

Source: Sunday Nation

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