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The Guns Turn on Guinea's Coup Leader

December 4, 2009, 4:34 PM

As I've continued to use this blog to track the aftermath of a September massacre in west Africa, probably the most implausible claim from Guinea's coup leader has been his insistence that he had nothing to do with killings of civilians carried out by his own troops. Now, he's been shot himself, reportedly by a top aide linked to the massacre. As the New York Times asks "whether he is losing his grip on power," it's worth at least asking whether that grip was ever quite as strong as I assumed.

News reports now place coup leader Capt. Moussa Dadis Camara in Morocco, getting treatment for gunshot wounds that have left him in "difficult but not desperate" condition.

As we stop to question Camara's hold on power, it's worth looking at the events that led up to the assassination attempt. The Voice of America has this description based on an interview with Guinean journalist Mamadou Dian Balde:

... the shooting occurred at Camp Koundara, the barracks for Dadis Camara’s presidential guard where the president had gone to investigate an earlier shooting.

“When the president heard that there was shooting downtown, the president left Camp Alphayaya where he lives and he went to check what was happening downtown in Camp Koundara. And according to sources, gendarmes were trying to arrest Toumba Diakite and he opened fire again and wounded the president,” Balde said.

Balde said Toumba Diakite and his men had earlier opened fire at a barracks for gendarmes where Toumba Diakite had gone to free one his men who had been arrested there for stealing.

Meanwhile, on Global Voices Online, Abdoulaye Bah has a worthwhile roundup of reactions to the assassination attempt.


The Guns Turn on Guinea's C...

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