Liberia’s Sirleaf demands ECOWAS meeting on Guinea

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Liberia’s Sirleaf demands ECOWAS meeting on Guinea

Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has called for “an emergency meeting” of the Economic Community of West African States on the crisis in neighbouring Guinea, the government has said.

“The president has sent a letter to the ECOWAS for this sub-regional body to convene an emergency meeting to discuss the situation in Guinea,” Information Minister Laurence Bropleh said. Guinea has been in turmoil since Monday, when troops of Captain Moussa Dadis Camara’s military junta opened fire on opposition demonstrators, killing 56 according to the junta and more than 150 according to the United Nations and a Guinean human rights organisation.

“The president believes that we need as a regional body to get involved in Guinea because instability in Guinea means instability in the Mano River Union, and by extension in the ECOWAS region. Her approach is that ECOWAS and the International Contact Group on Guinea need to take the lead,” Bropleh said. The United Nations, European Union and African Union have already condemned the massacre in a Conakry stadium, while former colonial power France has withdrawn military cooperation and said it is considering other forms of cooperation.

The Mano River Union comprises Guinea and Liberia and Sierra Leone, the last two of which are both still emerging from brutal civil wars that ended in the first years of this century. Asked about the possible presence of Liberian mercenaries in Guinea, Bropleh said, “We don’t believe that this is true. We have beefed up our security at that border and are making sure that this will not happen. However, we are investigating.” AFP

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