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Soldier who shot ex-junta chief wants to return to Guinea

(Audio available further in thsi article)

CONAKRY — Guinean soldier Aboubacar Sidiki Diakite, who tried to murder ex-junta chief Moussa Dadis Camara in December 2009, on Wednesday asked President Alpha Conde to aid his return to Guinea.

To listen to this article, click on the player below)


Speaking on French International Radio (RFI) the soldier known as "Toumba" said: "I would like to return to my country, and I ask (the father of the nation Conde) to grant this" authorisation to return.

"My return to the country depends on his decision," said Diakite, adding: "The right to pardon is a power of the president of the Republic."

On December 3, 2009, the soldier shot Dadis Camara in the head at a military camp in Conakry, accusing his ally of wanting him to bear sole responsibility for the massacre of 157 opponents to the junta on 28 September 2009.

He has not appeared in public since, having sought refuge in a neighbouring country.

Toumba was asked whether he would be prepared to submit to the Guinean justice system, as one has to be tried and convicted to seek pardon.

He replied: "It is a bit difficult for me as everyone is following the final report of the independent national commission of enquiry (into the massacre) which incriminates Toumba and the political leaders."

The committee recommended only that Toumba be prosecuted, ignoring junta chief Dadis Camara.

A United Nations enquiry concluded that crimes against humanity had been committed during the opposition rally massacre, pointing to "individual criminal responsibility" of the junta leader and other officers.

"Of course, I do not want to be harassed by the law in my country by returning to Guinea," said Toumba.

The soldier was described by witnesses of the massacre as the commander of the "red berets" (Presidential Guard) who fired in bursts at the crowd and beat and arrested opposition leaders.

Witnesses also claimed he did not stop soldiers who raped women in front of him.

After being seriously injured in the attempted assassination, Dadis Camara was evacuated to Morocco and has since been living in Ouagadougou. He recently expressed his own desire to return to Guinea.

Source: AFP

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