Sat, Dec 27, 2008 - Page 6 News List

Guinea coup leader invites foreign diplomats for talks

DPA AND AFP , CONAKRY

Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, left, shakes hands with Guinean Prime Minister Ahmed Tidiane Souare on Thursday in Conakry.

PHOTO: AFP

The leader of a military coup in Guinea has invited foreign diplomats to come to the West African nation this weekend for talks in a move intended to reassure the international community.

Captain Moussa Dadis Camara said in a statement on national radio late on Thursday that the UN, the EU, the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) were among those invited for a meeting aimed at clarifying the junta’s intentions.

All of these bodies have condemned the coup, which began on Tuesday only hours after the death of late president Lansana Conte.

The talks are scheduled to take place today.

The junta’s invitation came as government leaders who had turned themselves over to the military pledged their support for the new regime.

Camara had earlier given ministers a deadline of 24 hours to hand themselves in to an army barracks or face being hunted down.

After prime minister Ahmed Tidiane Souare and his Cabinet turned themselves in on Thursday, Camara said they could stay and help him run the country but left them with no illusions about who was now in charge.

“Yesterday, you were in power, today it’s our turn,” said the army captain who has declared himself “president” and plans to lead a 32-member interim administration, made up of 26 military officers and six civilians.

“You can go back to business, let us just avoid armed conflict which would drag our country into fratricidal war,” he said.

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