Country 'is not a district of France', says junta leader

Guinea's junta leader (photo) has accused French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner of "denigrating the people of Africa” in his reaction to last week's massacre of Guinean opposition supporters.


Guinea junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara told FRANCE 24 on Monday that he objected to remarks made by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner during an RTL television interview broadcast on Sunday. 

Kouchner had criticised Camara in the interview, saying, “Something terrible and savage happened. We cannot accept it. We can no longer work with Dadis Camara, international intervention is needed.” 

Kouchner’s remarks came after scores of people were killed in an opposition rally in the capital Conakry last week.

Camara retorted on FRANCE 24 that “France is sovereign, and Guinea is sovereign. Guinea is not a district of France. When the French Foreign Minister says something like that, this is a way of denigrating the people of Africa.”

Dadis Camara said on Sunday he bears "no responsibility" for the September 28 massacre in which the United Nations said more than 150 people were killed.

The violence erupted after thousands of people gathered at Conakry's main stadium to protest against the prospect of Camara becoming a candidate in presidential elections set for January 31.

The junta says 56 civilians were killed, but the Guinean Human Rights Organisation has claimed that at least 157 people were killed and 1,253 wounded in the crackdown. The United Nations has put the toll at more than 150.

Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore, tasked by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to act as a "facilitator" to ease tensions, arrived in Guinea on Monday to commence work.


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