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Guinea - opposition interview

Former PM Touré calls for action against security forces

Article published on the 2009-09-30 Latest update 2009-09-30 09:08 TU

Sydia Touré (left) and other opposition leaders at the stadium in Conakry on Monday before the violence(Photo: Reuters)

Sydia Touré (left) and other opposition leaders at the stadium in Conakry on Monday before the violence
(Photo: Reuters)

Guinean opposition leader Sydia Touré, who was one of the leaders of Monday’s protest march in Conakry, has called for an investigation into the events which led to 157 people being shot dead by security forces. In an exclusive interview with RFI, Touré, who was arrested during the protest, also expressed his shock at the rape of women by security forces loyal to military government head Moussa Dadis Camara.

“We are going to ask for an investigation to be launched because we witnessed events on Monday that I never thought I'd see in a country like Guinea," Touré says."Things we've never seen elsewhere except during civil wars in Sierra Leone or Liberia."

He fears more violence by soldiers who reportedly raped women as well as shooting demonstrators dead.

“I imagine that these soldiers have become even more aggressive now that they have the reputation of raping women. Because we've seen that.

“We've also seen people doing things, inserting their guns into women's genitals! How can things have fallen to such a low?”

The people had gathered at a city stadium in the seaside capital Conakry to oppose any bid by the junta leader, who seized power last December, to run for President in the upcoming January elections.

Touré also alluded to the arrest in 2008 of former Democratic Republic of Congo vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba who was sent to the International Criminal Court on several charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including rape, Touré called  

“I think that someone is going to have to answer for this because there are cases of rape and they're using it as a tool of war,” he said.

“The young men I saw on Monday were drugged. I don't even think that they were really members of the army because no rules were being followed.

“No officers tried to protect us. We were attacked by the soldiers. I can't even describe to you the total terror of it."

Touré, who is now leader of the Union of Republican Forces, insists that it was not just followers of the opposition, who were in danger.

“Everyone in Guinea is under threat of death at this time. I think that the international community cannot remain unmoved by this situation because it's only going to get worse.

“We have the impression that we are under occupation.”