Wed. Dec 6th, 2023

Untraceable, Dadis Camara was tried for a massacre

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Moussa Dadis Camara in Conakry, in 2009. (Archive photo)

Agence France-Presse

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Former Guinean dictator Moussa Dadis Camara was taken out of prison on Saturday morning by a heavily armed commando after heavy exchanges of fire in the center of Conakry and is nowhere to be found, a minister and lawyers said.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">Two or three other former officials currently being tried like him for a massacre perpetrated in 2009 under his presidency were also taken from the prison, according to these sources, without it becoming clear whether Moussa Dadis Camara had escaped from his prison. voluntarily. One of them was recaptured.

The commando assault woke up the center before dawn of the capital to the sound of automatic weapons.

It was around 5am. Heavily armed men broke into the central house [prison] in Conakry, Justice Minister Alphonse Charles Wright said. They managed to leave with four accused in the trial of the events of September 28 [2009], including Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, he said.

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The eleven accused at the courthouse in Conakry, September 28, 2022, during the opening of the trial for the massacre of 156 people in September 2009 (Archive photo)

The minister assured that the borders were closed. I tell the people of Guinea that they will be found wherever they are, he declared.

One of the released prisoners, Colonel Moussa Tiegboro Camara, secretary of state in charge of the fight against drugs and organized crime under Dadis Camara, was recaptured, he said. The detainee's lawyer, Mr. Jean Sovogui, assured that he had escaped those he presented as his captors.

Captain Dadis Camara's lawyer, Jocamey Haba, told AFP that he had confirmation that his client had been released from prison. He raised the possibility that his client was taken against his will.

I still think he was kidnapped. He has confidence in the justice of his country, which is why he will never try to escape, he added, referring to the trial currently underway. His life is in danger, he assured.

The commando operation shook Kaloum, the district of the presidency, institutions, businesses and a number of embassies, but also the central prison.

There is automatic and war weapon fire in Kaloum, said in the early hours of the day a resident of the area, speaking on condition of anonymity for his safety. .

The city center has been blocked since dawn, no entry or exit, said a trader, also on condition of anonymity.

We wanted to go to the port where I work, but we were prevented [from passing] at the entrance to the Kaloum peninsula, where armored vehicles were deployed, he added.

This bout of fever immediately awakened the memory of the putsch, carried out around the same time on September 5, 2021, when Colonel Mamady Doumbouya stormed the presidential palace with his men and overthrew civilian President Alpha Condé by arms.

But several news sites quickly indicated that the heavily armed commando had targeted the central prison. The Minister of Justice made it clear that it was an escape and not an attempted coup d'état.

In addition to Moussa Dadis Camara and Moussa Tiegboro Camara, news sites reported the escape of Claude Pivi and Blaise Goumou, also on trial among a dozen former military and government officials for the 2009 massacre.

Guinea, a country with a tormented political history since independence from France, has just entered the second year of this trial, for which Moussa Dadis Camara had been detained since hearings begin in September 2022.

They answer for a litany of murders, acts of torture, rapes and other kidnappings committed on September 28, 2009 by security forces at and around the September 28 stadium in the suburbs of Conakry, where tens of thousands of opposition supporters gathered.

At least 156 people were killed and hundreds injured, and at least 109 women raped, according to the report of a commission of inquiry mandated by the UN.

This trial opened when the country's new strongman, Colonel Doumbouya, had promised after his coup de force to rebuild the Guinean state and make justice its compass.

After the 2021 putsch, Colonel Doumbouya #x27;was inaugurated president and pledged under international pressure to hand over power to elected civilians within two years from January 2023.

The Forces vives de Guinée, a collective of opposition parties and organizations, recently denounced unfulfilled commitments and an authoritarian drift, evoking an emerging dictatorship.


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