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Guinea - exclusive Moussa Dadis Camara interview

Even the head of state can't control the situation, says President Dadis Camara

Article published on the 2009-09-29 Latest update 2009-09-29 15:45 TU

Moussa Dadis Camara(Photo: AFP)

Moussa Dadis Camara
(Photo: AFP)

"Faced with unpredictable and uncontrollable events, not even the head of state can exercise discipline," the head of Guinea's miltary government has told RFI. His soldiers stand accused of killing over 100 opposition supporters at a rally on Monday. But President Moussa Dadis Camara says he does not know who fired the fatal shots.

"I wasn't at the stadium," Camara told Christophe Boisbouvier of RFI's French service. "I was told that there were scuffles. I was told that there were gunshots and that people took arms from police stations. And in that wave of people moving, shots were fired.

"But who opened fire? That's the question. I only get reports of what happened."

Camara insists that he does not know who to believe but that he regrets the deaths.

"It's very unfortunate, what happened, You know, I run an army but faced with unpredictable and uncontrollable events, not even the head of state can exercise discipline."

The military ruler says that he has still not decided whether to stand for  the presidency in elections scheduled for next January.

"I am in a dilemma. And I will call a meeting with regional co-ordinators, religious leaders. After consulting them, I should be able to come up with an answer. But today, I haven't said if I will be a candidate."

But, he adds, "will a civilian be able to manage such a disorganised army?"

"The clashes which took place are not my doing," he stresses, adding that, despite reports of journalists being intimidated and harassed during the shootings, he has refrained from a clampdown on the press.

"Journalists are able to work freely," he says. "You know, I could have ordered the radio stations to shut down the radio stations but I refused to do that."