Guinea’s military junta says the nation’s wounded junta chief must be allowed to return home

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Guinea’s military junta says leader must return

CONAKRY, Guinea — Guinea’s military junta says its wounded leader must be allowed to return home from a nearby country where he is being held under armed guard.

But the statement read on state-run radio on Thursday about Capt. Moussa “Dadis” Camara directly contradicted the junta’s No. 2 Gen. Sekouba Konate, who has assured the international community that Camara should not be allowed to return.

Konate took control of Guinea last month after an assassination attempt on Camara, who was evacuated to Morocco for surgery. On Tuesday, Morocco flew him to Burkina Faso, where he is being held in a heavily guarded villa.

In Camara’s absence, Konate began taking steps to return his West African country to civilian rule, and many fear those efforts would be derailed if the military strongman is allowed back in.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — Hundreds of people have held a demonstration at Guinea’s international airport in support of their country’s wounded junta chief.

The protesters chanted slogans and held up signs calling for the return of Capt. Moussa “Dadis” Camara. They said they planned to block the runway Thursday and not let any planes land unless they are carrying Camara.

Camara was evacuated to Morocco last month for emergency surgery after an assassination attempt. But Morocco flew him to Burkina Faso, which is near Guinea, on Tuesday, where he is now holed up in a heavily guarded villa.

The surprise move came as Guinea had been making tentative steps toward a return to civilian rule, which many fear could be derailed if Camara returns to the West African country.

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