By Jennifer M. Haralambides
CONAKRY, Guinea – In a rally against Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, security forces violently quelled the crowds, killing at least 9 people.
Junta leader, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, who took power in a bloodless coup last year, had initially pledged not to run in a presidential election planned for this coming January, although now it looks as though he will run.
Because of this, hundreds of demonstrators joined together to rally against his campaign holding up signs reading “No to Dadis” and “Down with the Army in Power.” They were quickly dispersed by the military who used tear gas, live ammunition and baton charges to break up the crowds.
“I have counted nine bodies but we have not yet been able to reach the stands in the stadium where there are also some dead,” said Thierno Maadjou Sow, president of the Guinean Human Rights Organization.
Cellou Dalein Diallo and Sidya Toure, two former prime ministers, were injured during the demonstrations and then taken to the Alpha Yaya Diallo camp, which is the headquarters of the junta in power. Witnesses say that many more prominent opposition leaders were injured and taken into custody during the violence.
The security forces are still in effect and have been setting up roadway checkpoints.
“This is only the beginning of demonstrations and counter-demonstrations we can expect in the next few months,” said Gilles Yabi, a Guinea expert.
The military take-over by Captain Camara had some initial support, although the recent anti-government protests to Camara’s potential run for the presidency show that the tide has shifted.
If Captain Camara stands for president, it will be a violation of the agreement between the military and civil forces which has kept him in power.
For more information, please see:
AFP – At Least 10 Killed at Guinea Demonstration – 28 September 2009
BBC – Protesters Killed in Guinea Rally – 28 September 2009
Reuters – Guinea Forces Kill 9 in Crackdown – Group – 28 September 2009