ECOWAS calls for external ‘protection force’ into Guinea crises

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ECOWAS calls for external ‘protection force’ in Guinea

(AFP) OUAGADOUGOU — ECOWAS chief Mohammed Ibn Chambas called on Sunday for a special force to be sent to Guinea to protect civilians from violence as the west African country’s political crisis deepens.

“I propose the preventative deployment of a force that would protect civilians (and provide) humanitarian aid…to establish a safe environment for the Guinean people,” said Chambas, the president of the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission.

He said the situation in Guinea “risks not only destabilising the country in the long-term” but “also undermines all our efforts to consolidate peace in post-conflict countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau and Ivory Coast”.

His comments came at the start of the ninth meeting of the International Contact Group on Guinea, which includes the United Nations, the European Union and the African Union as well as ECOWAS.

Guinea has been mired in crisis since a coup d’etat that unfolded just hours after the death in December 2008 of president Lansana Conte, who himself came to power in the west African nation in an August 1984 coup.

Camara was shot in the head on December 3 in a military base in Conakry by one of his aides, Aboubacar Sidiki Diakitem, and is currently in hospital in Morocco

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