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Guinea Replaces Military Chief Killed in Plane Crash

  • VOA News

Guinea's Brigadier General Namory Traore takes part in a funeral ceremony in Conakry, Guinea, Feb. 13, 2013.
Guinea’s president, Alpha Conde, has named a replacement for the armed forces chief killed in a plane crash earlier this month.

Conde on Tuesday named Brigadier General Namory Traore as the head of the country’s military. Traore comes from the same part of Guinea as the president.

The new general is expected to continue military reforms that were being carried out by his predecessor, General Souleymane Kelefa Diallo, who was a key ally of Conde's.

Diallo and 10 others died February 11 when their plane crashed near Liberia’s capital during poor visibility caused by fog. The Guinean government says it is still investigating the cause of the crash.

Conde called for the United Nations-backed military reforms after his election in 2010, Guinea’s first free and fair presidential election since independence in 1958.

Guinea's army has a long history of coup attempts and firing on civilians during opposition protests. Military officers seized power after longtime leader Lansana Conte died in December 2008.

The following September, soldiers took part in the massacre of more than 150 protesters at a stadium in Conakry. More recently, some 37 soldiers were arrested in July 2011 after an assassination attempt against Conde.