Guinea Rapes Threaten to Destabilize Region

Patience with Camara is clearly running out. Today a group of African and European countries called the the Economic Community of West African States called for an arms embargo of Guinea if those responsible for the massacre and rapes were not brought to justice.

Camara claims he bears no responsibility for the actions of a few "rogue" soldiers and he has pledged that the government will open up an independent investigation into the protest massacre and rapes, something that many Guineans are highly skeptical of, says Dufka.

"Guinea does not have a good record of holding members of the security forces responsible for serious crimes of murder and rape," she said. "I don't want to say it can't happen, but there needs to be international involvement in the investigation and pressure from international partners to insure that justice is done."

The president of Burkina Faso travelled to Conakry to try and ease tensions between Camara and opposition groups last week.

There are currently talks being held by the Economic Community of West African States, known as ECOWAS, in Nigeria. The president of Senegal has also weighed in on the situation. Guinea is a small nation, but a total disintegration of the country could be disastrous for the region. Guinea shares borders with Liberia and Sierra Leone, two countries that are still recovering from their own bloody civil wars.

Foreign Strain in Guinea Rape Crisis

Several of the soldiers taking part in the crackdown were reportedly from Liberia. Liberians have been fighting in the Guinea military for more than five years, but there is a worry that as tensions increase Camara could recruit more soldiers from the border region he hails from as a way of beefing up his support. That would turn Guinea's conflict into a regional one.

"The international community has spent several billion dollars reconstructing these two failed states," says Dufka. "Insecurity in Guinea would seriously undermine two incipient democracies that are in the process of rebuilding."

Christophe Schpoliansky contributed to the reporting of this story.

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