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Guinean Official Says France Knows Location of Camara's Accused Shooter

The manhunt for Toumba Diakite continues

Guinea's military ruler Captain Moussa Dadis Camara
Guinea's military ruler Captain Moussa Dadis Camara

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James Butty

Guinea’s military has reportedly accused France of involvement in last Thursday’s assassination attempt that wounded junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara.

Reports say Guinean soldiers looking for renegade presidential guard leader Abubakar Toumba Diakite searched the French Ambassador’s diplomatic car Tuesday.

Guinea’s communications minister Idrissa Cherif was quoted as saying only France would know the whereabouts of Toumba Diakite, accused of shooting the junta leader.

A French foreign ministry spokesman has described the claims as “absurd rumors”.

Editor of the Independent newspaper in Guinea’s capital, Mamadou Dian Balde said there is reason to treat the communication minister’s allegations with skepticism.
 
“I don’t think that many people can take what the minister said as the truth because people know that the minister of communications of Guinea, Idrissa Cherif talk too much, and any time he said things without the order of the government,” he said.

On the other hand, Dian Balde said the minister’s comments should be seen as those of the junta because he is minister of information.

He said relations between Guinea and France have deteriorated, especially since the 28 September massacre of opposition demonstrators by soldiers loyal to the junta leader.

“The French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner was one of the people who condemned that assassination of demonstrators, and Moussa Dadis Camara and his government were not glad and they accused Mr. Kouchner to be friend of one of the opponents (of the government),” Dian Balde said.

He said even though the junta did not say which Guinean opposition member was a friend of Kouchner, it is believed they are referring to Alpha Conde who he said is a friend of the French foreign minister.

Dian Balde said the Guinean military is engaged in a massive manhunt for former head of the presidential guard Abubakar Toumba Diakite.

“Toumba Diakite is wanted, and the junta promised to pay 200 million Guinean Francs and a house for any information which can help to catch the renegade soldier. They said that today on the national radio,” Dian Balde said.

He said the presidential guards are conducting a massive search for Toumba Diakite and members of his family.

Dian Balde said the military Monday killed one Mamadou Yaya Diallo in the town of Cosa and arrested many people from the same town whose whereabouts he said are unknown at the time.

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