US Wades Into Chaos in Guinea

Clinton sends diplomat, accuses junta of 'criminality'
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2009 5:40 AM CDT
Woman look for the bodies of family members and friends that were killed during a rally on Monday, at the capital's main mosque, in Conakry, Guinea, Friday, Oct. 2, 2009.   (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
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(Newser) – Hillary Clinton has stepped into the crisis in the junta-ruled nation of Guinea, calling for "appropriate actions" against the military government, which she said "cannot remain in power." Clinton took the unusual step of dispatching a senior diplomat, who pinned blame for the recent killings and rapes of unarmed protesters squarely on coup leader Capt. Moussa Dadis Camara: "You are responsible for Sept. 28. The buck stops with you."

The State Department's intervention highlights a growing concern for good governance in Africa, the theme of Barack Obama's address in Ghana this summer. But the New York Times observes that America traditionally has limited influence in West Africa—France, the former colonial master, is the more resonant voice. Bernard Kouchner, Clinton's French counterpart, suspended aid to Guinea this weekend and said, "It seems to me that today, one can no longer work with Dadis Camara, and there should be an international intervention."