Guinea’s military leader has warned on Saturday that Guineans are strongly opposed to international peacekeepers in their country.
Five days before Capt Moussa Dadis Camara’s comments, scores of opposition supporters were shot dead by Guinea’s forces at a pro-democracy rally.
The incident triggered opposition leaders to call for foreign arbitration.
Opposition parties, unions and representatives of the country’s civil society had on Friday called for an international peacekeeping force to be sent to Guinea to protect the people from the armed forces.
“Political leaders are issuing false reports, they have no support in the country,” said Camara. Last December, he seized power in the francophone West African nation, after the death of Lansana Conte, the president, who had been in power since 1984.
“They [opposition leaders] talk about sending an arbitration force … It would be needed between warring parties, but the situation here is calm, people go about their daily business,” Camara told press briefing.
He added that if such a force was “sent, the entire people of Guinea would rebel.”
On Friday, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said it had named Blaise Compaore, Burkina Faso president, as “facilitator”, in order to ease tensions in Guinea after Monday’s bloodbath.
Soldiers killed demonstrators who gathered near a stadium in Conakry, the capital, to protest against Camara’s expected decision to stand in the presidential elections, due to be held in January.
The security forces said 56 people were killed. But according to a human rights group there were 157 dead and 1,200 injured. The United Nations said there were more than 150 dead.