UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


Bataillon autonome de la sécurité présidentielle (BASP)

The Presidential Guard is an elite unit of the army that includes several hundred men. Under former President Conté, the Presidential Guard was in a unit called the Autonomous Battalion of Presidential Security (BASP) and its members generally belonged to the Soussou ethnic group. It was one of the elite units that wore Red Berets: the others were members of the Airborne Troop Battalion (BATA) and the commandos. In the weeks following the coup, Dadis Camara began replacing many of the BASP members with soldiers he knew and trusted, as well as his entourage. Many (but not all) soldiers of the newly formed Presidential Guard came from ethnic groups in the forest region.

The vast majority of abuses committed on 28 September 2009 and the following days, including mass murder and sexual abuse, were carried out by the Presidential Guard. The Presidential Guard, or the Red Beret troops, who burst into the stadium on 28 September on the day of the massacre, were commanded by Lieutenant Abubakar Diakite, more commonly known as Toumba, who was then a close confidant President of the CNDD Dadis Camara and also aide-de-camp and head of the personal guard of the latter. Diakite personally led the Red Berets in the stadium, was with them when they fired in the crowd of demonstrators, led the Red Berets group that beat and arrested the opposition leaders and personally witnessed the rape Many women at the stadium without intervening to stop the violence. At the end of the afternoon, at least 150 Guineans were found dead or dying in the compound and outside the stadium.

The presidential security minister, Captain Claude Pivi, known as Coplan, was the highest-ranking commander of the Red Beret force, in charge of presidential security and therefore responsible for the actions of the Presidential Guard. The testimonies are contradictory on the presence or not of Pivi outside the stadium on September 28th. However, it is unlikely that he played any role in the events that followed, including attacks on the houses of political leaders on the evening of September 28, when he and some of his close Red Berets were seen Attack the home of opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list