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Guinea strike marks 1 month since bloody massacre

Guinea strike marks 1 month since bloody massacre

Tens of thousands of workers in Guinea went on strike Wednesday to mark the one-month anniversary of a massacre in which troops fatally shot pro-democracy demonstrators and raped women in broad daylight, officials and workers said.
Most of the capital's private businesses, shops and government offices were closed. Opposition member Mohamed Camara estimated that only 3,000 of some 97,000 government workers reported to work and said that many residents elsewhere in the West African country also heeded the call to strike.
Guinea's government cautioned workers against causing unrest. The government supported unions' calls for two days of national mourning earlier this month but did not endorse Wednesday's strike.
"We will not attack citizens, but we will not tolerate troublemakers," said anti-riot police force member Lt. Samoura Keita.
Interior Minister Frederick Kollie, speaking on state media, said the strike was called by "troublemakers who wish for foreign intervention in the country."
Capt. Moussa "Dadis" Camara, who seized power in a coup in December, has banned all protests and demonstrations. He has said that "uncontrolled" elements of the army carried out the rapes and killings at the Sept. 28 rally.
A Guinean human rights group says 157 people were killed and more than 1,200 wounded when members of the presidential guard fired into the crowd of some 50,000 people at a soccer stadium. The government put the death toll at 57 and said most of the victims were trampled.
Human Rights Watch said Tuesday that the violence was premeditated, and that dozens of women were seized from the stadium and driven in military vehicles to villas where they were gang-raped by uniformed men over several days.
"We, the women of Guinea, are wounded in our souls and humiliated by the events of Sept. 28," said activist Diaraye Haidara. "A day of remembrance will certainly make us feel better but it will never heal our open wounds from these rapes."
However, government worker Ibrahima Sano said he felt he could not miss work Wednesday.
"One can also represent the female victims while working," he said. "I need to eat, and my children do too."


Updated : 2021-02-28 21:23 GMT+08:00