Guinea military leader Capt Moussa Dadis Camara has been shot in an act of mutiny that has left the West African nation and international community alert.
The Military Junta was at a military camp when the shooting occurred. Local reports say gunfire broke out near a radio station and a base of the presidential guard. Analysts say the main fear of the junta had always been a split within the military.
“He is injured. We don’t know the degree and the nature of his injury,” Communication Minister Idrissa Cherif was quoted by reporters.
Meanwhile, Senegal, whose President Abdoulaye Wade urged the international community to recognise the military junta in December last year, has sent a medical plane to Conakry to transfer the wounded Capt. Moussa Dadis Camara to Dakar for treatment.
The Guinean information minister named the presidents’ shooter as aide-de-camp Aboubacar “Toumba” Diakite. He warned that those behind the attack would face punishment.
According to official reports, Lt Diakite has been arrested.
“The president of the republic is still the president of the republic and he is in good health,” Mr. Cherif was quoted as saying.
Capt Camara has always been skeptical about his military. He imported millions of dollars worth of weapons in November, despite international sanctions imposed on the country after members of the presidential guard massacred at least 160 people at an opposition rally in September.
According to the Guardian.co.uk, sources in the military say the military president grew fearful of a counter-coup from within his own military. The chief of presidential security, Claude Pivi, who is believed to have personally supervised the September attack, now drives through Conakry escorted by no fewer than seven battle wagons with anti-aircraft guns strapped to the back.
Capt Camara, who took power in a coup last year, ordered the army to open fire on crowds who protested his decision to run in the presidential elections planned for January 2010.
Captain Moussa Dadis Camara is being re-evacuated to Morocco, for extra medical care. According to France24, there are conflicting accounts of the severity of Camara’s injury, with multiple reports of a bleeding head wound. There are also conflicting reports concerning the arrest of Lieutenant Aboubacar “Toumba” Diakite, who has been blamed for the attack. Latest reports have indicated that Toumba has gone into hiding. Toumba has also been named as a leading figure in the September stadium massacres.
His soldiers, according to Human rights Watch, took part in gang rapes and murders during the assault of the opposition crowds.
Capt Camara promised to return the country to civilian rule, and vowed not to run in the elections. However, he has since shown signs of holding onto power with increasingly erratic behavior and public humiliation of officials, according to reports.
The European Union and West African alliance Ecowas have since placed restriction on the Junta and the EU has called for him to be tried for crimes against humanity.
To shore up support, Capt Camara is allegedly recruiting militia units from among his own Forestier ethnic group in the east of the country, and has promoted fellow Forestiers to senior positions in the army in preference to those from other tribes, reports have claimed.
Since the military attack on opposition crowds, the situation in Guinea has grown ever more unstable, and the African union has urged the Junta to step down and give democracy a chance. But Capt Camara, who declared himself president following his bloodless coup, has not said he wouldn’t run for office in the 2010 elections.