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Do Guinea’s dark days reveal junta’s colours?

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In Guinea this week, at least 157 people were killed when security forces opened fire on a demonstration against military junta leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, according to a local rights group.

Much has changed since I visited the country in April and May this year. Then, the young Camara — or “Dadis” as most Guineans refer to him – did not look particularly dangerous despite his images staring out from walls, buildings and roundabouts all over Conakry, and cassettes of his speeches on sale in the markets.

“Long live peace” was the graffiti of choice, and if expectations of real improvements in living standards were low, at least soldiers were in the barracks rather than shooting in the streets.

What was clear then was that a certain degree of patience had been extended to Camara both domestically and internationally.

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