Languages
Page last updated at 16:18 GMT, Friday, 2 October 2009 17:18 UK

Thousands identify Guinea bodies

Woman cries outside Conkary mosque (02/10/09)
Some people were able to recognise their loved ones

Thousands of people have gathered at a mosque in Guinea's capital, Conakry, to identify those killed in Monday's opposition rally against military rule.

Security forces struggled to cope with the crowds, after 57 bodies were taken to the mosque from a hospital morgue and lined up under nearby trees.

One of the opposition leaders beaten during the violence has arrived in Paris for hospital treatment.

The authorities say 57 people were killed, but rights groups say 157 died.

Opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo was prevented from leaving the country on Wednesday but was then allowed to travel to Dakar on Senegal's presidential plane before continuing to Paris.

Body being unloaded (02/20/09)

Monday's rally was called to protest at reports that the military leader, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, is planning to stand in presidential elections next year.

After seizing power in December 2008, he pledged not to contest elections.

Capt Camara on Friday addressed a small crowd to mark the 51st anniversary of Guinea's independence, reports the AFP news agency.

"September 28, 2009 is from now on a symbol of violence," he said.

'Hostage'

On Thursday, Capt Camara expressed fears for his own safety, days after the killing by the army of dozens of people protesting against his rule.

Speaking to Radio France Internationale he described himself as a "hostage" - both to the people and to the "unstructured" army.

CAPT MOUSSA DADIS CAMARA
Captain Moussa Dadis Camara
Seized power in December 2008 as a little known army captain
Promised democracy, but now shows signs of holding onto power
Increasingly erratic behaviour and public humiliation of officials

He said that if he announced he was not standing for election, another military officer would take over the country.

Soldiers used live rounds against huge crowds of protesters on Monday.

Eyewitnesses have told human rights groups of soldiers raping women in the streets during the crackdown.

The junta says far fewer people died, and claims most of them were trampled to death.

Capt Camara, whose leadership has been described as erratic since he seized power in a bloodless coup last year, has called for a UN team to investigate the deaths.

He claimed that the protesters - who included members of the army - had been trying to overthrow him.

He also urged the opposition to join a government of national unity.

But leaders of the main opposition blocs have rejected his offer.

Sidya Toure, of the Union of Republic Forces, told the BBC: "This does not interest me in the slightest. We have days of mourning here. Our population is very shocked.

"The first thing for us is to know who has given the order to kill people here, who is responsible for that."

There has been widespread condemnation of the violence, with the head of the West African Regional grouping, Ecowas, telling the BBC that what happened was "unacceptable" and could not be left unpunished.

On Wednesday, France announced it had suspended military co-operation with its former colony and said it was considering freezing aid to the country.

But analysts say international bodies have little leverage as Guinea is a resource-rich, wealthy nation enjoying heavy investment from foreign mining firms.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Guinea leader 'fears for safety'
01 Oct 09 |  Africa
Guinea protests 'will continue'
29 Sep 09 |  Africa
Eyewitness: 'Bodies were falling'
29 Sep 09 |  Africa
Guinea's erratic military ruler
29 Sep 09 |  Africa
Guineans mark '50 years of poverty'
02 Oct 08 |  Africa
Country profile: Guinea
09 Feb 11 |  Country profiles

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific