US condemns mass killings, rape in Guinea

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Washington, Oct.7 (ANI): The Obama administration has condemned reports of mass killings and rape in Guinea and, in an unusual step, sent a senior diplomat to that country to register its strong protest over the incidents.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has called for "appropriate actions" against a military government that she said "cannot remain in power," reports the New York Post

"It was criminality of the greatest degree, and those who committed such acts should not be given any reason to expect that they will escape justice," Clinton told reporters in Washington.

She said that Guinea leader, Captain. Moussa Dadis Camara, and his government "must turn back to the people the right to choose their own leaders."

The military seized power here last December, and pressure has been rising as Captain Camara, 45, backed off a pledge not to run in this country's presidential elections in January.

At a demonstration against him on September 28, witnesses said soldiers opened fire on the crowds and raped and sexually assaulted female protesters.

Human rights officials estimate that as many as 157 people were killed. The government has put the number at 56.

On Monday, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State William Fitzgerald met with Captain Camara for two hours and strongly told him that he was responsible for the violence, despite the military strongman's repeated denials.

Fitzgerald also warned Captain Camara not to run in the elections, a key opposition demand.

The response from the captain was non-committal, he said.

American pressure is limited in French-speaking West Africa, a region to which it has typically paid scant attention.

However, Africa experts see Fitzgerald's meeting with Captain Camara as a significant example of President Obama's push for good governance and human rights on the continent. (ANI)

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