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Ruling junta, Compaore set for talks on transition goverment

3 min

Members of Guinea's ruling junta hold talks on the creation of a transition government with Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore, the official mediator, amid a continuing standoff with the opposition over the role of junta chief Dadis Camara.


AFP - Guinea's ruling junta said it wanted the creation of a transitional government to lead the country out of the crisis that has gripped it since a September massacre by the military.

Regime representatives are in Ouagadougou for talks with the official mediator, Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore.

An aide to junta chief Captain Moussa Dadis Camara ruled out the possibility of the leader going into exile while the west African nation regains stability, but called for an "open government".

"We have said it before and we will say it to (Compaore) -- we will ask for an open government so that everyone can make their contribution to finding a proper solution to Guinea's problems," Idrissa Cherif, Camara's special adviser, told AFP.

Asked whether Camara would consider stepping down and going abroad, Cherif said, "That's just in the head of those who think it.

"You have to be realistic and see things as they are. They have no technical means of getting the army out of power."

"It's the army who put Captain Dadis in power," Cherif added. "What power have they (the opposition) to remove him?"

Cherif is one of a 26-member delegation sent by the junta to have talks with Compaore, who met the opposition last week. The team from the National Council for Democracy and Development (CNDD), as the junta has called itself, is led by the CNDD permanent secretary, Colonel Moussa Keita.

Last week Guinea's opposition held discussions with Compaore and called for the dissolution of the junta, which seized power late last year, and the departure of Camara.

The current crisis began on September 28, when forces loyal to the junta massacred more than 150 people at a rally in a Conakry stadium, organised to urge Camara not to stand in elections planned for January.

The opposition says that at least 157 people died and more than 1,200 were injured, including women who were raped in public, while the junta admits that 56 people were killed and has announced an inquiry, in parallel with one to be undertaken by the United Nations.

Since the killings, the opposition has systematically refused to have any dealings with the junta.

On November 4, a group of opposition parties, trade unions and civil society organisations handed a memorandum to Compaore, in which they demanded the departure of Camara, the dissolution of the CNDD and the setting up of a national transition council to organise an election within six months.

On Tuesday, the opposition again rejected any talk of participation with the soldiers in a government of national unity.

"We systematically reject a government of unity or openness," said Alpha Conde, a veteran opposition leader who is president of the Guinean People's Rally (RPG), a main opposition party.

"It's out of the question to govern the country with genocidal killers," said Amadou Oury Bah, a leader of the Union of Democratic Forces in Guinea (UFDG), the party of former prime minister Cellou Dalein Diallo.

"If we lack the technical means to force the army out of power, we have the diplomatic means to do it," said Jean-Marie Dore, leader of the Union for the Progress of Guinea (UPG) and spokesman of the opposition coalition.

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