- West Africa
- Conflicts - Governance
Guinea: Military Leader warned to stay away from the country
Recuperating Guinea’s military junta, Capt. Moussa Dadis Camara, has been advised not to return to Guinea, because his return, according to analysts, would destabilize the country.
Capt. Camara has been in Morocco receiving treatment for bullet wounds, after an attempt on his life. He was shot by a renegade soldier, Lt. Toumba Diakite, who was told to take the blame for the infamous September massacre of opposition protesters.
Since the absence of Capt. Camara, a sense of civil stability returned to the country as plans to return power to civilian rule intensified. This return of calm, according to reports, follows the pressure by western diplomats on the country’s deputy junta, Sekouba Konate, to restore power to civilian rule.
The deputy junta pledged to pave the way for a return to civilian rule and announced that military leader Capt. Camara would need time to recover after an assassination bid. He said he expected a transitional government to choose a new election date.
"We need to act to restore peace and the unity of all Guineans, and to put our state and political system on a new foundation. The most important thing is to ... re-establish confidence between the government and those being governed," Konate was quoted on Wednesday, Jan. 9, as he promised to accept a prime minister drawn from the opposition as part of national unity government.
Deputy leader, Konate, reportedly held talks with U.S. and French diplomats who urged him to allow a return to civilian rule in Capt. Camara’s absence. The diplomats advised that Capt. Camara should not return to Guinea because it would destabilize the country.
Capt. Camara upset many Guineans when he refused to opt out of elections, breaking a promise he made following the blood-less coup that brought him into power.
The opposition, thus, took to the streets in protest of his decision to run for office. The military drew international criticism by opening fire on the protesters, following the orders of Capt. Camara, in the Conakry sports stadium on 28 September. Human rights groups claimed that more than 150 people were killed.
Instability in the West African nation has so far contributed to nearly 23 percent decline in aluminum ore bauxite exports, according to a government report obtained by Reuters in December, 2009.
Capt. Camara is now in Burkina Faso, according to sources in the country. An advisor to the president of Burkina Faso told the Associated Press that Capt. Camara had traveled to the country to finish his medical treatment.