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Guinea - international reactions

France threatens end to aid, opposition promises more protests

Article published on the 2009-09-29 Latest update 2009-09-29 15:56 TU

People run from security forces in Conakry (Photo: Reuters)

People run from security forces in Conakry
(Photo: Reuters)

France is reviewing is bilateral aid to Guinea and has suspended military co-operation after Monday's massacre of at least 157 people by the military at an opposition rally. There is widespread international condemnation of the killings.

"France reiterates its condemnation of this savage and bloody repression," said French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in a statement.

"France has decided to immediately suspend its military co-operation with Guinea. It is also examining the full scope of its bilateral aid."

Guinea is a former French colony.

Paris called for a meeting of the European Union on Wednesday to consider "additional measures".

Exiled opposition chief Alpha Condé, who leads the Rally of the People of Guinea, on Tuesday promised an all-out fight to topple the "criminal regime".

"We'll continue with demonstrations until we get satisfaction," Conde said from New York. "It's no longer a matter of elections but to get rid of this criminal regime that fires on youths at point-blank range.

"These are the same killings [as in 2007] which are beginning again. It means to say they are ready to impose a military dictatorship, but we are ready to mobilise the people to impose change, because nobody wants a military regime."

Britain Tuesday dubbed the killings "shocking".

"We deplore any use of excessive force and urge the Guinean authorities to exercise restraint and to ensure the safety and security of its people," the Foreign Office said.

The United Nations, the African Union and the European Union all expressed alarm over the massacre.

In an interview with RFI, military ruler Moussa Dadis Camara said he was "very, very sorry" about the killings, but claimed to be unsure who fired the fatal shots.