The interim leader of Guinea’s ruling military junta, General Sekouba Konate, was in Paris for talks on how to proceed towards a general election, but his ministers were denied visas due to the massacre of opposition supporters in late 2009. The Guinean leader met the French foreign minister ahead of elections in the country. But members of his government were denied visas because of the massacre of opposition supporters during a protest in September of last year
The meeting will focused on the political transition process underway in Guinea and the support the international community is providing ahead of the presidential election set for June 27. Kouchner also urged Konate to implement UN recommendations following the September massacre, especially involving the fight against impunity and the battle against sexual violence against women. Guinea’s vote follows a 2008 coup led by Moussa Dadis Camara, who then became junta chief and was wounded in an assassination attempt in December. Konate took over as interim leader afterward.
Guinea has not had truly democratic elections since it gained independence from France in 1958, and the coup that brought Camara to power occurred within hours of the death of longtime ruler Lansana Conte. Guinea’s junta has come under intense pressure from the international community, particularly following the massacre at a stadium rally in September that killed 157 people, with troops shooting, stabbing and raping opposition supporters. Guinean ministers were denied visas to visit France with Konate because of international sanctions linked to the massacre. Those denied access include Fishing Minister Korka Diallo, Transport Minister Mathurin Bangoura and Culture Minister Fode Isto Keira.
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