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Guinea - exclusive interview

I'm a hostage of the army, says Guinean leader

Article published on the 2009-10-01 Latest update 2009-10-01 13:29 TU

Guinea's junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara, 30 September 2009.(Photo: AFP)

Guinea's junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara, 30 September 2009.
(Photo: AFP)

In his second exclusive interview with RFI since the Guinean army brutally cracked down on protestors in Conakry Monday, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara says he is a hostage of an army he describes as undisciplined and without an operational chain of command.

Camara maintains that Monday's violence, which led to an estimated 157 deaths, was sparked by rogue elements in the army and that he was not aware of what was going on at the time.

There have been reports from members of the opposition who marched against Camara that soldiers raped women and sexually abused them using rifles.

“I’m confronted with a complex and difficult situation in Guinea today,” Camara told RFI’s French-language service. “It’s a hard choice. I’ve been taken hostage by the people: some who say ‘No, President Dadis should not contest the elections’, others who say he should.”

“The army is on the other side,” he added. “It’s an army which does not have an operational chain of command. A corporal can just walk into your office without warning.”

“When I took power and made public my intentions not to contest the elections, there were protests in the barracks, I’m a hostage of the army. They say if I leave power they will take it back.”

Echoing international calls, Camara now wants an independent inquiry into what happened Monday, to bring those responsible for the crimes committed to justice.

“This inquiry should look into those men who led the march,” he said, referring to opposition members, including former Prime Minister Sydia Touré. “Why did they break the law? Why didn’t they stop this human wave from attacking vehicles and official buildings, seizing weapons?”

“This can no longer be considered a protest. It was a premeditated act, which should be dealt with in a court of law,” Camara said, indicating that he has an idea of who is responsible.

“If there was so much carnage, it’s because the leaders were behind it all. Because for them, the only thing that matters is power.”

 On France 24 TV

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