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Alpha “Inspector Clouseau” Conde Says International Plot to Blame for Rude Awakening on July 19

September 11, 2011

Guinea leader says attack against him planned in Dakar

Alpha Conde, pictured in August 2011, said Sunday that a failed assassination attempt on him in July was plotted

Guinean President Alpha Conde said Sunday that a failed assassination attempt on him in July was plotted in the Senegalese capital Dakar, with the complicity of Senegal and Gambia.

Senegal strongly denied the accusations, saying there was “no question” of it being involved in the attack.

In an interview with the private Senegalese radio station Sud FM, Conde named three people who he said had met in Dakar’s Meridien President Hotel to plan a rocket attack on his private home in which one of his guards was killed.

“Everything was prepared in Dakar,” said Conde, 73, accusing Amadou Bah Oury, number two in the main opposition Guinean Union of Democratic Forces (UFDG) of being one of those involved.

“We know very well that he (Bah Oury) was one of the main organisers. I didn’t want to arrest him before an arrest warrant was prepared, which allowed him to flee” abroad, said Conde.

All three men he accuses of plotting the attack are allies of General Sekouba Konate who led a transition government in 2010 until the country held its first ever democratic election since independence from France in 1958.

The attack took place in the early hours of July 20, when rogue soldiers opened fire on Conde’s residence, blasting it with bazookas and rocket-propelled grenades in a two-hour gun battle, the president said at the time.

Thirty-eight people, including 25 soldiers and 13 civilians, were arrested in the aftermath of the attack.

In the interview, Conde said he had told the Senegalese and Gambian foreign ministers “that things were being planned in the President Hotel in Dakar and there are comings and goings in Gambia and that I don’t think this was happening behind their backs.

“I think there is complicity by the Senegalese government and the Gambian government, even if they say they weren’t being vigilant.”

Spokesman for the Senegalese presidency Serigne Mbacke Ndiaye said: “There can be no question of Senegal’s involvement in the problems of destabilisation in Guinea. Senegal is home to two million Guineans, 300,000 Senegalese are in Guinea.

“I can tell you firmly that neither Senegal or its head of state could be involved in the destabilisation of any country in the world, even less so Guinea which is a brother country, a neighbouring country.”

The posh Meridien President hotel in the north of Dakar is where Conde’s opposition rival Cellou Dalein Diallo — who lost November elections — stays during his frequent visits to the Senegalese capital.

However Conde did not accuse Diallo of being involved.

“I have never spoken of Cellou Dalein, I mentioned the people who met at the hotel. We know who they are, Tibou Camara, Sadaka etc.”

Conde was referring to former minister in the Guinean presidency Tibou Camara “who is always in Gambia” and businessman Amadou Oury Diallo, known as “Sadaka”.

Camara’s wife is related to Gambian first lady Zineb Jammeh, according to the former minister’s entourage in Guinea.

All three men are currently out of the country.

Conde, a socialist, often visited Senegal during his years in the opposition and is said to be closer to the Senegalese opposition than to the country’s president, Abdoulaye Wade, a liberal.

President Yayha Jammeh often visited former Guinean president Lansana Conte, who ruled for 24 years until his death in December 2008.

Guinea has a long history of coups and attempted coups, and as its first democratically elected president, Conde faces the huge task of turning around a nation plagued by decades of deadly political violence and ethnic gamesmanship.

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