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France advises its citizens in Guinea to leave the country

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-10-16

The French foreign ministry has recommended that French nationals leave Guinea. Alain Joyandet, Minister of State for Cooperation and Francophonie, told FRANCE 24 that the safety of civilians in the West African nation cannot be guaranteed.

Paris has urged all French nationals to leave Guinea because of a spike in violent crime after a bloody crackdown on opposition protesters in the capital, Conakry.

"We strongly advise against travel to Guinea, and French nationals present in the country are advised to leave," said a travel advisory on the foreign ministry website, citing "an increase in acts of banditry and armed robberies” following a junta crackdown on September 28 in which over 150 protesters were killed.

In a telephone interview with FRANCE 24 on Friday, Minister of State for Cooperation and Francophonie, Alan Joyandet, reiterated the French foreign ministry’s emphatic recommendation.

Joyandet said that no evacuation was in the works, but that it was “recommended” that they leave due to various “exactions” committed by the military against civilians.

“We no longer know if anyone can guarantee the safety of civilians,” he added, repeating his demand that “all light be shed” on the junta crackdown.

The head of Guinea's military junta, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, has denied ordering security troops to attack the demonstrators at September's opposition rally.

There are an estimated 2,500 French nationals in the former French colony.

One such French expat in Conakry who wished to remain anonymous told FRANCE 24 that the danger was heightened at night. He said, “There is talk of total anarchy. We were told to stay at home. There are military barrages all over the city. We are supposed to take refuge at night rather than being out and about.”

The international community has roundly condemned the September 28 violence. The African Union has given the junta until midnight his Saturday to pledge in writing that the junta will not field a candidate for January's presidential elections.

The International Criminal Court in The Hague confirmed on Wednesday that it was investigating the incident.


Date created : 2009-10-16


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