Socialist Worker

Massacre in Guinea

by Ken Olende
Issue No. 2171

Soldiers opened fire on an opposition rally in Guinea, West Africa, on Monday, killing over 150 people. Some 50,000 people were crowded into a football stadium in the capital Conakry, to hear Cellou Dalein Diallo, who had been prime minister until 2006.

Government troops moved in, opening fire on the audience and arresting several speakers. More than 1,000 were injured. Witnesses say that troops went on to bayonet opposition supporters.

The country is currently ruled by Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, who came to power in a coup last December. At the time he claimed that he was only concerned with rooting out corruption and would hold elections within 60 days.

The coup followed the death of President Lansana Conté, who had ruled since 1984. His corrupt government was enormously unpopular and initially many people welcomed the coup, but Camara's actions quickly dispelled illusions.

In recent statements Camara has said that elections will go ahead in 2010. Since the massacre he has responded to international condemnation by variously saying that the soldiers who carried it out were not under his control and that people were killed in a crush, not by bullets.

There has been a long history of workers' resistance in Guinea, and the previous government was defeated by a general strike in 2007.

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Wed 30 Sep 2009, 17:04 BST
Issue No. 2171
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