News

Guinea's Military Leader Travels to Morocco After Shooting

Communications Minister Idrissa Cherif says Captain Moussa Dadis Camara has gone to Morocco for a 'check-up' after being shot late Thursday by soldiers at a military camp in downtown Conakry.

Guinea's military ruler Captain Moussa Dadis Camara (Oct 2009 file photo)
Guinea's military ruler Captain Moussa Dadis Camara (Oct 2009 file photo)

Multimedia

Audio

Guinea's military ruler is in Morocco after being shot by troops loyal to his aide-de-camp.  Aid groups are drafting contingency plans for as many as half-a-million civilians who could be displaced if Guinea's political instability worsens.

Communications Minister Idrissa Cherif says Captain Moussa Dadis Camara has gone to Morocco for a "check-up" after being shot late Thursday by soldiers at a military camp in downtown Conakry.

It is the first time the 45-year-old ruler has left Guinea since taking power in a coup last December. In his absence, Cherif says power remains in the hands of the ruling military council, which met in emergency session Friday.

A Moroccan physician familiar with the situation says Captain Camara is being treated for "several light wounds" at Rabat's Mohammed V Military Hospital and his condition is "not serious."

Morocco's Foreign Ministry says the kingdom received Captain Camara on "strictly humanitarian considerations." He arrived on a Burkinabe plane with a Senegalese doctor for the treatment of what a Moroccan government statement says are injuries related to gun shot wounds received Thursday.

Captain Camara was shot by soldiers loyal to aide-de-camp Lieutenant Aboubacar Sidiki Diakite, who is known as Toumba. Toumba and his men escaped the attack. And despite a government statement that the former aide was later arrested, Toumba's whereabouts are unknown.

Businesses in Conakry opened as usual Friday, and the military government says it has stepped-up security in the capital.

Toumba is widely thought to have led members of the red beret presidential guard who shot and raped opposition demonstrators two months ago. Human rights groups say at least 157 people were killed protesting Captain Camara's expected presidential candidacy. The military says 57 people died, most in the crush of people fleeing Conakry's main sports stadium.

A United Nations Commission is in Conakry to find out what happened September 28.

Local human rights officials say Thursday's trouble began when Captain Camara ordered the arrest of ten members of the presidential guard thought to have been involved in the killing. When Toumba's men tried to free at least one of those suspects, Captain Camara went to Toumba's base at Camp Koundara to find out what was happening. That is when he was shot.

Divisions within Guinea's military have grown since the September violence, which Captain Camara is blaming on both his political opponents and what he calls "uncontrollable elements of the military."

The violence brought sanctions from both the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States. ECOWAS asked Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore to mediate the crisis. But his offer of an interim government has been rejected by a coalition of political parties, civil society groups, and trade unions who refuse to take part in any transitional authority that includes members of the military.

Regional humanitarian officials are preparing a contingency plan to feed civilians that may be displaced if the crisis deteriorates further.

"The future of the country is unclear and the security situation remains very unstable," said Thomas Yanga, who directs operations in West Africa for the UN's World Food Program.  "A deterioration of the situation leading to population displacement could potentially affect the  sub-region."

Since the violence two months ago, the price of rice in Conakry is up 40 percent and sugar is up more than 25 percent. Fatma Samoura directs WFP operations in Guinea.

Samoura says the contingency plan covers six neighboring countries plus Guinea in case the political crisis deteriorates to a level that can not be managed by the military government. She says that during such a crisis, the plan would distribute food to as many as 300,000 refugees and 200,000 internally displaced Guineans.

The contingency plan includes Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Ivory Coast which are all still struggling to recover from their own civil wars.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs