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Change Now In Guinea

Change Now In Guinea
Change Now In Guinea

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Guinea's military government continues to drag its feet on returning the West African nation to constitutional rule, in the face of international outrage over a bloody crackdown on its political opponents.

Junta leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara pledged to rein in security forces and transfer power to civilian rule through free elections, but so far has taken little action other than to try to shift blame for the September 28 massacre of peaceful demonstrators that that took more than 150 lives. In attempting to hold on to power, he proves he is incapable of, and unfit for, being in power.

Guinea's neighbors in the African Union, or AU, quickly condemned the regime, restricting travel and freezing bank accounts of the junta leaders and others supporting them. The United States has similarly imposed a travel ban on Captain Camara and his circle, and is considering joining the AU in imposing some targeted economic sanctions. These and other nations are also working with the United Nations to conduct an inquiry into the September 28 attack, something Captain Camara has also been slow to do.

The international community's message following the junta's actions is clear. The best way to restore stability and order to Guinea is not by the gun, as many in the Guinean security forces appear to believe. It is for Captain Camara to follow through on the promise he made when taking power last December to step down in favor of a transitional government and to hold elections.

The U.S. believes that Guineans have the right and deserve the chance to have a free and fair election. The time is now for Guinea to turn the page on authoritarian rule as other African nations have done and let Guinea join the ranks of the world's democracies.