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Military


Guinea - 2008-2010 - Moussa Dadis Camara

President Contés death on December 22, 2008 sparked an immediate coup d’état by elements of the military. The bloodless coup in December 2008 by a group of soldiers following the death of President Lansana Conte, who had led Guinea with an iron fist for many years, initially revived Hope for a transition towards a regime that is more respectful of human rights. Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, head of the fuel distribution service in the army, seized power on December 23, 2008, declaring himself President of the Republic and suspending the constitution, but promising elections and an eventual restoration of civilian authority.

Since taking power, the CNDD has officially cracked down on drug traffickers, criminals involved in the production and sale of counterfeit medicines and former officials accused of corruption. Paradoxically, many of the human rights abuses documented by Human Rights Watch appear to have been committed in the context of this crackdown

By January 2009 Minister of Defense and Second Vice President Sekouba Konate wanted to assassinate former mutiny leader and current Minister of Presidential Security Claude Pivi, but it was not clear whether any operation had been planned. Further, Konate had been "drunk since the coup" and passed out in front of the Dadis Camara on the evening of 23 January. Both Dadis Camara and Konate have been independently surveilling CNDD press secretary Aboubacar "Idi Amin" Camara.

President Moussa Dadis Camara, the leader of the military junta, initially promised to hold elections in 2009 and pledged that neither him nor any member of the National Council for Democracy and Democracy (CNDD) would be a candidate for the presidency. CNDD's popularity began to decline in February 2009 when it became clear that President Camara was unwilling to honor its commitments. By August 2009, it was increasingly clear that Camara intended to run for president.

In response, Guinea’s opposition forces organized a protest on September 28, 2009, which attracted tens of thousands of protestors to the national stadium in Conakry. The Guinean military responded by opening fire on the crowd, killing at least 157 protestors, wounding more than a 1,000 others, and sexually assaulting more than 100 women, triggering widespread condemnation from the international community and increasing isolation for the junta.

In October 2009, the UN Secretary-General, with the support of the AU and ECOWAS, established an International Commission of Inquiry to investigate serious human rights violations, including rape, September by the Guinean security forces. The Commission submitted its report to the UN Secretary-General in December. This report, which was not formally made public, indicated that it was reasonable to conclude that the crimes committed on September 28, 2009 and the following days could be characterized as crimes against humanity. It also indicates that there were reasonable grounds for presuming individual criminal responsibility, including President Camara, Commander Moussa Tiégboro Camara, Minister for Special Services, Drug Control and High Banditry, and Lieutenant Aboubacar Chérif Diakité , Aide-de-camp to the president and head of his close guard.

In October 2009, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) initiated a preliminary review to determine whether the violations on September 28 were within the jurisdiction of the ICC. In the same month, the junta created a national commission of inquiry that was boycotted by local civil society organizations. Commander Moussa Tiégboro Camara, Minister for Special Services, Drugs and Crime, and Lieutenant Aboubacar Chérif Diakite, aide-de-camp to the president and head of his close guard. In October, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) initiated a preliminary review to determine whether the violations on September 28 were within the jurisdiction of the ICC.

In the same month, the junta created a national commission of inquiry that was boycotted by local civil society organizations. Commander Moussa Tiégboro Camara, Minister for Special Services, Drugs and Crime, and Lieutenant Aboubacar Cherif Diakite, aide-de-camp to the president and head of his close guard. In October, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) initiated a preliminary review to determine whether the violations on September 28 were within the jurisdiction of the ICC. In the same month, the junta created a national commission of inquiry that was boycotted by local civil society organizations.

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) initiated a preliminary review to determine whether the violations committed on 28 September were within the jurisdiction of the ICC. In the same month, the junta created a national commission of inquiry that was boycotted by local civil society organizations. The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) initiated a preliminary review to determine whether the violations committed on 28 September were within the jurisdiction of the ICC. In the same month, the junta created a national commission of inquiry that was boycotted by local civil society organizations.

Dadis was often illogical and suspected of substance abuse. His appalling public behavior at the March 2009 ICG-Guinea meetings reinforced these observations. Dadis' frequent appearances on national television suggest deliberate public grandstanding. Dadis was a volatile public speaker: often angry, sometimes intimidating, and fond of wild gestures and theatrics. His public discourses lacked coherence as he was quick to go off on tangents. He interrupted others and generally used the microphone as an opportunity to expound at length about unrelated topics. People on the street were often bewildered by Dadis' unpredictable style. Guineans frequently commented on the fact that he smoked on television, emphatically gesticulating with his cigarette. They also commented negatively on his tendency to wear sunglasses at public and private events.

President Dadis Camara was shot and wounded 03 December 2009 by his personal security chief Diakite "Toumba," who later fled. Dadis reportedly received a bullet wound to the head. His condition was not disclosed but the Government evacuated him to a nearby country, reportedly to Morocco through Senegal. Toumba, who was believed to be largely responsible for the September 28 massacre at Conakry's football stadium, was at large with an unknown number of armed soldiers. It appears as though Dadis had arrested a number of Toumba associates the previous day, reportedly for their role in the September 28 massacre. Toumba was seen as responsible for the killing unarmed demonstrators at the stadium and the public raping of several dozen women.

Top ranking military officer reportedly held an emergency meeting at Camp Alpha Yaya and determined that Minister of Presidential Security Claude Pivi will head the government until the return of Minister of Defense Konate. General Sekouba Konate, Vice President and Minister of Defense, led the coalition that was in control of the government. Although Dadis Camara was removed from the scene violently rather than through constitutional means, it would be better for Guinea if he did not return. His erratic, violent and unpredictable behavior and his similarly rapacious and unstable cronies only foretold a sad future for Guinea if they return to power.

Toumba's shooting of Dadis Camara made him a folk hero for many Guineans who at the least see what he did as a the way to depose Camara from power, and at the most as opening a solution to transition from military to civilian democratic rule. Guineans generally appear ready not merely to excuse him for his misdeeds but to forget what he did, because he disabled what is widely regarded as a deranged and drug-addled Dadis Camara.





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