Guinean military leader in 'favourable' condition after attempted assassination

Monday, December 7, 2009

Morocco said earlier today that Guinea's military ruler, Moussa Dadis Camara, has undergone successful surgery for gunshot wounds sustained on Thursday in an apparent assassination attempt. Guinea's military government is offering a reward for the capture of the former head of the presidential guard whose men are accused of carrying out the attack.

File photo of Captain Camara

The inspector of Morocco's Royal Armed Forces' health services said that Camara has had successful surgery for head trauma. In a statement issued by Morocco's official press agency, Dr. Ali Abrouq said Camara's condition is "not worrying."

"The current health condition of the Guinean president does not inspire concern," Abrouq noted in a statement. "The result of the operation is favorable."

Camara flew to Morocco on Friday after being shot the day before by men loyal to his former aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Aboubacar Sidiki Diakite, who is also known as Toumba. Toumba escaped the attack, and is still at large with a group of the presidential guard.

Harouna Kone, a spokesman for the junta, commented that Camara should be able to return to Guinea by Wednesday. "The president is doing very well and we expecting that he will come back maybe on Wednesday [...] he is in the Royal Hospital of Rabat, and I think that everything is well there. He called last night and [spoke] with his minister of communication and they discussed about something,” he said, as quoted by the Voice of America news agency.

Security forces, meanwhile, are patrolling Guinea's borders in search of Toumba, and the government is offering a reward for information leading to his capture.

Guinea's vice-president and defense minister, General Sekouba Konate, became the interim leader following the attempted assassination.

Thursday's shooting followed an argument between Toumba and Camara about who should take responsibility for the killing of opposition demonstrators two months ago. Witnesses say Toumba gave the order for the presidential guard to open fire on people protesting Camara's expected presidential candidacy.

Local human rights groups said that at least 157 people were killed on September 28; the military put the number at 57 people.