Guinea placed under arms embargo

W African nations impose sanctions on Camara government over deadly shooting incident.

    Guinea's military government says the toll from September's crackdown is exaggerated [EPA]

    Lansine Kaba, professor of history at Carnegie Mellon University of Qatar, told Al Jazeera: "The Ecowas decision is very good, but I'm not sure about the success of it. There are so many possibilities for buying guns.

    "China is dealing with this regime to have some possibility for iron and bauxite in Guinea."

    Condemnation

    Ecowas also condemned the "atrocities" carried out by Camara's troops, who opened fire on an opposition rally at a stadium in the capital, Conakry, leading to claims that 157 civilians were killed and 1,200 more injured.

    "There is no question that what happened on September 28 was the last point. It was a massacre that could not be tolerated anywhere, particularly in this time in human history"

    Lansine Kaba, professor of history, Carnegie Mellon University of Qatar

    But Conakry says the toll was 56 and that most of the victims were trampled to death and not shot. The case has been taken up the International Criminal Court.

    Human rights groups, such as Amnesty International, say soldiers also raped and sexually abused women during the crackdown, and the African Union has called for Camara to resign.

    The EU has also called for the army captain to be tried for crimes against humanity.

    Kaba added: "Camara is hanging on because he wants to be president, but he doesn't have the support of the people any more or of the major political parties.

    "There is no question that what happened on September 28 was the last point. It was a massacre that could not be tolerated anywhere, particularly in this time in human history.

    "It is wonderful that the world community has been standing against his regime for the barbaric treatment of the Guinean people."

    French evacuation call

    France advised last Friday its nationals - thought to number about 2,500 - to leave the mineral-rich country as the security situation had worsened since the September 28 shootings.

    According to the foreign ministry's website, "banditry, in particular armed robberies, have increased and there is no short-term prospect that the situation will improve".

    Meanwhile, Guinea's information minister, Justin Morel Junior, became the third minister to step down in a week, saying he no longer had the "moral strength" to speak for the government.

    But Camara insists the opposition should not have held a banned rally and has promised he will not stand in an election he scheduled for next January.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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