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Africa

Interim leader visits wounded Camara in Morocco

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-29

Guinea's interim leader, Gen. Sekouba Konate, arrived in Morocco Monday to see Guinean junta chief Moussa Dadis Camara (pictured), according to Guinean officials. Camara has been hospitalised in Rabat since he was shot on Dec. 3.

Guinea's interim leader, General Sekouba Konate, flew Monday to Rabat to see the head of the junta, Moussa Dadis Camara, who has been hospitalised there since he was shot, officials said.
  
Konate, who is defence minister, is making a visit of "courtesy and consultations," said an official text read on state radio overnight Sunday.
  
The minister has not seen Camara since the junta leader was shot in the head on December 3 by an aide in a military camp in Conakry. The visit to Rabat was announced several times and then postponed.
  
Since Camara was operated on for a "cranial trauma," Guinean authorities have repeatedly said he is "doing well" and that he planned to return to Conakry "as fast as possible."
  
But a government minister is reported to have told Konate that Camara is really in "a rather appalling state," where he was incapable of communication and of feeding himself.
  
Camara came to power in a military coup on December 23, 2008, hours after the death of the dictator Lansana Conte, who had ruled since 1984. Conte was a general and the army has always played a key role in the politics of the west African state.
  
Konate has called for "essential reconciliation" after a bloodbath in which at least 156 people died at Conakry stadium on September 28, during a crackdown on an opposition demonstration.
  
More than 1,000 people were also injured, including women who were raped and then, in some cases, shot. The United Nations has investigated the massacre and said it was a crime against humanity whose perpetrators should be tried by the International Criminal Court.
  
The violence has led to regional and international sanctions being imposed on the junta.
  
Camara's aide, Lieutenant Aboubacar "Toumba" Sidiki Diakite, said in an interview with Radio France International that he had shot the junta chief after he was ordered to take responsibility for the stadium killings. He has since been on the run. Junta officials claimed Diakite was leading a coup attempt.
  
Both the United States and France have said they fear Camara's return could spark civil war in the west African country.
  
Konate at the weekend ordered the minister for communication in the presidency and the ministry of defence, Idrissa Cherif, to stop making declarations about Guinea and Camara's state of health, a minister close to the general has reported.
  
The minister said that "rowdy statements against (French Foreign Minister) Bernard Kouchner and France are not of a nature to improve relations between Guinea and the European Union," which has tightened its sanctions against the junta.
  
Cherif has several times accused Kouchner of having sought to "destabilise the regime" and of "being in contact with those who attempted to assassinate" Camara.
 

Date created : 2009-12-29

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