Friday, January 15, 2010

Guinea News Update: Pact Keeps Camara Out of Country; Opposition Selects Candidates for Elections Within Six Months

Friday, January 15, 2010
21:46 Mecca time, 18:46 GMT

Pact keeps Camara out of Guinea

Camara was taken out of Guinea for treatment after being shot by a former aide last month

Guinea's political rivals have signed a deal keeping Moussa Dadis Camara, the wounded junta leader, out of the country and allowing for elections in six months, according to an official statement.

The accord was signed by Camara, who has been recovering in Morocco after an assassination attempt, interim junta chief General Sekouba Konate, and Burkina Faso president, Blaise Compaore, who is mediating between the ruling junta and the opposition.

The deal provides for a national council of transition and a unity government before polls are held "in six months."

General Konate has been running Guinea since Camara left the country after he was wounded in a December 3 assassination attempt.

Konate had said earlier on Friday that Camara would not be allowed to return to Guinea.

'Angry Camara'

Andrew Simmons, Al Jazeera's Africa correspondent, said: "Camara, who has been in Morocco since the attempt on his life, was taken onto a plane and according to him he was expecting to be coming back to Guinea.

"But the plane landed in Burkina Faso, in Ouagadougou [the capital], and he was extremely angry.

"General Konate then went to Ouagadougou for talks with him and there was a very angry exchange. After that, a group from the junta in Guinea made a televised broadcast saying they wanted their leader to come back.

"Talks then went on, over the last 48 hours, in which Camara had agreed not to come back to the country and that Guinea would continue along a road back to some kind of democracy," Simmons said.

Guinea's coalition of opposition and civil society groups proposed Jean Marie Dore, their spokesman, or Rabiatou Serah Diallo, a union leader, for the job of prime minister, the opposition said on Friday.

Known as the Forces Vives, the opposition want Konate to make the final decision over who will lead a government of transition tasked with holding elections and overseeing the return to civilian rule.

Civilian rule

Since he took control, Konate has initiated steps to return the country to civilian rule, with the support of the US and France.

"The collective members of [the government] and the chiefs of staff of the armies of air, sea and land stand in solidarity behind General Sekouba Konate's call for a rapid transition," the statement read on state radio said.

Camara seized power following the death of Lasana Conte, the president, in December 2008.

He promised to hold elections within the year and address rampant corruption in the desperately poor country.

However, suggestions that he did not intend to step down sparked public protests.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

Guinea coup leader 'steps back'

Guinea's wounded leader Capt Moussa Dadis Camara has agreed to let his deputy lead the country while he recovers from an assassination attempt.

In a statement, the military junta said Capt Camara, who is convalescing in Burkina Faso, would support the transition to civilian rule.

Earlier, interim leader Sekouba Konate had threatened to resign in a row with supporters of Capt Camara.

He had opened talks with the opposition while Capt Camara was in hospital.

The announcement follow talks with Burkina Faso's president, who is mediating talks to resolve the country's crisis.

23, 24 December 2008 Strongman President Lansana Conte dies, Capt Camara takes over, promises 2010 election
15 August 2009 Says he may stand for president
28 September Soldiers kill protesters in Conakry, reports of atrocities and rapes
October US, EU, African Union and Ecowas impose sanctions on junta
3 December Capt Camara shot in the head in apparent assassination attempt
4 December Flown to Morocco for surgery
12 January 2010 Capt Camara leaves hospital in Rabat and is flown to Burkina Faso

The declaration said Capt Camara was "willingly taking a period of convalescence".

According to AFP news agency, the junta leaders have also agreed to form a unity government followed by polls in six months.

Capt Camara had been receiving treatment in Morocco following an assassination attempt by his former aide-de-camp on 3 December.

When he left hospital on Tuesday, he reportedly thought he was going to Conakry, only to find himself in Burkina Faso.

BBC West Africa correspondent Caspar Leighton says both the international community and the Guinean opposition see Capt Camara's absence as the best hope for an orderly transition to civilian, democratic rule.

Earlier on Friday, Capt Camara's staunchest supporters were pressing for him to return to Conakry.

But our correspondent said this seemed to push Gen Konate to threaten to resign and accuse Capt Camara's allies of wanting to start a war in Guinea.

Capt Camara seized power in a coup in December 2008 after the death of long-time ruler Lansana Conte.

At first he promised a return to civilian rule, but soon dropped hints that he would stand for president himself.

That led to a pro-democracy rally on 28 September in the capital, Conakry, at which rights groups say more than 150 people were killed when the military opened fire.

A recent UN report on the stadium massacre said Capt Camara should face trial at the International Criminal Court over the brutal suppression.

Gen Konate has offered the post of prime minister to the opposition.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2010/01/15 18:38:02 GMT

Guinea Opposition Names Candidates for Prime Minister

By Alpha Camara and Franz Wild

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Guinea’s opposition proposed two candidates to lead a transitional government tasked with organizing free and fair elections, according to Mouctar Diallo, president of the New Democratic Forces party.

A coalition of opposition groups nominated Jean Marie Dore, leader of the Guinean People’s Union, and Hadja Rabiatou Serah Diallo, secretary-general of the National Confederation of Workers of Guinea, as their choices for the position of prime minister, he said today in an interview in Conakry, the capital.

General Sekouba Konate, Guinea’s interim leader, has pledged that democratic elections will take place and offered the opposition the position of prime minister in a transitional administration. Konate took over last month after an assassination attempt on President Moussa Dadis Camara left him hospitalized in Morocco.

“The fact that they have a transitional regime is not a sign that the problems are solved,” Sebastian Spio-Garbrah, an analyst at Eurasia Group, said in a telephone interview yesterday from Washington.

Guinea’s opposition wants to exclude the military junta from government and is protesting the potential return of Camara, who was flown to Morocco for head surgery and is currently in Burkina Faso.

To contact the reporters on this story: Alpha Camara in Conakry via Johannesburg at; Franz Wild in Johannesburg at

Last Updated: January 15, 2010 12:14 EST

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