Guinea’s Junta Leader Camara Wounded in Shooting

The leader of the Guinea’s military junta, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, was shot and wounded by one of his aides yesterday, according to secretary general of the presidency, Commander Keletigui Faro.

Camara was “slightly hurt during an unfortunate incident” carried out by one of his aides in the capital, Conakry, Faro said in a statement read out on state television last night. “The life of the head of state is not in danger.”

Camara seized power in December last year, a day after the death of President Lansana Conte, who ruled the country for two decades. The opposition in Guinea says more than 200 people were killed at a stadium in Conakry in September when soldiers opened fire on supporters protesting Camara’s plan to run in presidential elections in January.

Guinea, which lies on Africa’s west coast, is the world’s biggest exporter of bauxite, a raw material used in aluminum production. Companies including United Co. Rusal, the largest aluminum producer, and AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., the world’s third-biggest gold producer, have operations in the country.

Yesterday’s attack was carried out by renegade soldiers loyal to Aboubacar Diakite, a former aide to Camara, London- based Control Risks Group said, citing junta spokesman Idrissa Cherif.

The shooting highlights the “divisions within the military and the precariousness of Camara’s position,” Control Risks said in a note to clients. “The junta leader’s lack of absolute control over different factions of the army is likely to result in a persistently fluid security situation in Guinea prior to presidential elections,” which are likely to be postponed.

An Amnesty International delegation that visited Guinea Nov. 15-30 found security forces were continuing to arrest, detain and harass pro-democracy activists and clamp down on internal dissent within the military.

“A climate of fear continues in Guinea,” said Amnesty researcher Gaetan Mootoo. “The authorities can no longer turn a blind eye to the human rights violations committed by its security forces.


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