Guinea tightened security in the capital Conakry after junta leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara (pictured) was wounded in an attack by his former aide de camp.
REUTERS - Guinea tightened security in the capital Conakry on Friday, residents said, after junta leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara was wounded in an attack carried out by his own soldiers.
The incident underlined the fragility of the West African nation, which is the world’s top exporter of the aluminium ore bauxite and whose stability is seen as vital to its neighbours.
“The government can offer the assurance that the situation is under control,” a junta official said on state television after the violence flared late on Thursday.
“President Moussa Dadis Camara was slightly wounded. Very fortunately, his life is not in danger,” said the official, reading from a statement.
Neighbouring Senegal sent an aeroplane and a medical team to Conakry to help if a medical evacuation was needed, but Camara’s wounds are currently considered light enough to be treated on site, local media reported on Friday, quoting a junta official.
Residents said gunshots rang out across the city around the time of the attack, but calm was restored and soldiers were deployed to guard main thoroughfares and other strategic points as part of a heightened security alert.
The attack happened as U.N. investigators in Conakry wound up their inquiry into a Sept. 28 crackdown by security forces on pro-democracy protesters in which more than 150 protesters were killed and scores of women raped, according to witnesses.
The statement said Camara’s former aide de camp, Lieutenant Aboubacar “Toumba” Diakite, was behind the attack on Camara.
Witnesses and human rights groups have named Toumba as a leading figure in the September killings, for which junta leaders could face international prosecution.
“What we are hearing is that they either arrested Toumba or were going to arrest him and he shot at Dadis. There is no doubt this is linked to the investigation,” a diplomat said of the incident.
“This was the only way out for him (Camara),” the diplomat added of the theory that Camara would try to implicate Toumba in the Sept. 28 killings and so remove any blame from himself.
Communications Minister Idrissa Cherif said Toumba had been located somewhere in the capital and added: “Those who orchestrated this insurrection will be punished.”
Camara came to power in a bloodless coup last December after the death of strongman Lansana Conte. He initially promised to allow a transition to civilian rule but has since delayed elections and refused to hand over power.
Date created : 2009-12-04