Guinea Update 4-9: Former Junta Leader, Capt. Dadis Camara, in Morocco to Collect His Mother’s Remains, Next Stop — Guinea
ON RIGHT: ABUBAKAR “TOUMBA” DIAKITE, CMDR., PRESIDENTIAL GUARD, who shot Camara in the head in December 2009, which Camara survived
After much drama associated with whether or not Alpha Conde would allow Camara to return to Guinea to bury his mother, who died a few days ago, we get word that Camara has left Ougadougou to go to Morocco to collect his mother’s remains and then travel to Guinea for the burial.
Camara became leader of the military junta that took over after President Lansana Conte died in 2008. It was under Camara’s watch that the September 28, 2009, massacre occurred and he is under indictment at the International Criminal Court for associated crimes against humanity. In December 2009, one of Camara’s associates shot him in the head and, although gravely wounded, he survived the attack. Whether it was a planned assassination attempt or something to simply incapacitate him is unclear, but it did achieve the objective of getting him out of Guinea and to Morocco where he was transferred for treatment. In early, 2010, Camara was transferred to Burkina Faso to remain under the watchful eye of President Blaise Compare during his convalescence. Compare’s reputation as the one responsible for the murder of his best friend and then-president, Thomas Sankara, in 1987, must have given Camara pause as he was transferred there against his will. He has been in Ougadougou ever since and was forbidden from attending his son’s funeral in August 2010.
Conde put up a fight against Camara’s return to Guinea for his mother’s funeral. Unconfirmed reports yesterday suggest that when Alpha Conde first considered Camara’s return, he decided to stop his departure from Ouagadougou, by contacting the International Criminal Court (ICC) and asking that the outstanding arrest warrant be launched to keep him in Burkina Faso.
Then Conde did an about-face, not because he realized he was in the wrong, but perhaps he saw an opportunity. Conde had his staff contact and bring in to Conakry several sages from the Forest, Dadis Camara’s home region. The sages asked that Conde allow Camara to return for his mother’s funeral. Conde agreed, in response to the sages’ requests, not Camara’s. Why is Conde so tense about Camara’s return, but is now allowing it? He says it’s because Camara presence in the country could result in social upheaval. The real fear, though, is that Camara will talk about a lot of things that Conde, and others, wish he would not. Conde’s about-face may signal that he has better control over what happens to Camara while he is on Guinean soil.
While Camara is viewed as responsible for the September 28, 2009 massacre, there are high-level politicians and military officials who Camara will implicate given the opportunity. Camara is not about to take the whole rap himself. Sooner or later, Dadis will tell all about connections which Konate and Conde have to the September 28, 2009, massacre. Further, he will likely implicate both in the plot to assassinate him in December 2009. Perhaps, Conde’s calling in the ICC on Camara, didn’t seem like such a good idea after all. Who knows, maybe the head prosecutor has already opened a file on Conde.
Capt. Dadis Camara left Ouagadougou last night and is in Casablanca, Morocco now. He will lay his mother to rest this Sunday.
STAY TUNED . . .
(Google translation to English)
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 1:16 p.m.
Three years after his arrival in Ouagadougou the capital of Burkina Faso, Captain Dadis Camara has left his place of confinement for Morocco to collect the remains of his mother died a few days earlier.
Corroborating sources, the successor to Conté chartered a flight with a handful of close relatives and guards to Morocco where it will take another flight to N’zérékoré by going through the Guinean capital Conakry or the Liberian capital Monrovia.
It is a sigh of relief to see that Dadis Camara her mother before she was last home join in his native village Koulet, a village in the prefecture of N’zérékoré.
We will return in more detail on this information in future editions.
Aly Soumah www.guinee58.com , Conakry