Guinea’s dictator Camara apologizes: claims “atrocities” by “uncontrollable elements in the military.”
Moussa Dadis Camara, Guinea’s military leader, has apologized for the massacre of almost 160 of the country’s citizens by its own soldiers and police. More than 1300 others were injured. The brutal events have drawn international condemnation. Camara said: “Very frankly speaking, I’m very sorry, very sorry….”Even I, as head of state in this very tense situation, cannot claim to be able to control those elements in the military.”
He authorized two days of national mourning for Wednesday Sept 30, and Thursday October 1, 2009, and has promised an inquiry. However, he warned that “Any mass gatherings which are of a subversive nature are banned.”
Mouctar Diallo, a human rights activist, said on Radio France International
“I saw this myself….They were raping women publicly. Soldiers were shooting everywhere and I saw people fall.”
Guinea’s government has promised an investigation into why members of the military opened fire on an opposition protest killing, by some accounts, more than 150 people. On Tuesday September 29, 2009, Camara made his first public appearance since the brutal crackdown. The military leader Camara seized power in December 2008 following the death of the long-ruling president Lansana Conte.