According to news reports, the ruling junta in Guinea is continuing its manhunt for Lt. Aboubacar “Toumba” Diakite, who allegedly shot military ruler Moussa Camara in the head last week.
During the past several days, security officials have rounded up at least 60 people suspected of involvement in the assassination attempt.
Under the sub-headline “In search of Toumba Diakite, the army imposes a reign of terror,” French-language Afrik.com writes:
Roadblocks, vehicle searches, armed raids, arrests and summary executions…The loyalist forces are resolute in their efforts to put their hands on Lt. Diakite, who left the the Guinean junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara with serious head wounds. This is a manhunt that has thrust the population into fear.
Idrissa Cherif, the junta spokesman, said that one of the men responsible for the attack, Mohamed “Begre” Camara, was arrested this morning as he tried to flee the country. Kenya’s NTV has more on the arrest:
Worldfocus blogger Ayo Johnson offers his analysis on the recent turn of events in Guinea:
It is time that elections scheduled for January 2010 go ahead without fail. The shooting of Captain Moussa “Dadis” Camara only seems to confirm the lengths to which Guinean soldiers will go — in masking their acts of violence against civilians, solidifying their hold on power and plans to ignore the ballot box all together.
It was exactly a year ago that the death of ruthless dictator Lansana Conte sparked an opportunistic coup by a relatively unknown captain. Moussa declared himself leader of Guinea despite repeated calls from the international community for him to stand down…
A United Nations panel’s visit to Guinea in November to investigate the killing of scores of civilians by Moussa’s troops was the final straw on the camel’s back for this ragtag army.
Moussa’s insistence that he should be included in next year’s elections spelled the end of this so called revolution. Moussa’s credibility was compromised, as he refused to take responsibility for his army. He decided instead to blame Abubakar “Toumba” Diakite, the officer in charge of the operation during the massacre. It is not surprising that a fire fight ensued, leaving Moussa with a bullet wound to the head.
Split elements within the army are now protecting Diakite, who is now in hiding. A second coup is very likely, as Moussa seeks medical attention in Morocco for his injuries. Whenever Moussa recovers from his injuries, he may find it difficult coming back into his country. What is clear is that an internal struggle is imminent, as the military fights an internal war with various top dogs trying to take control of this West African country.
The stakes are high as foreign companies, especially China who have only recently signed a $4.4 billion mining deal. The Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) will have to take a far tougher line against the military regime and ask for the regime to leave office immediately. The future and stability of fragile neighboring countries can be easily undermined if Guinea were to become unstable.
Gen. Sekouba Konate, the vice president of the military, is now in charge of the country. Diakite is now on the run and has been sighted heading for the Sierra Leone border area, covenanting in a heightened state of alert from the Sierra Leone border agency.
Watch Ayo Johnson’s interview about the situation on Al Jazeera English:
– Ben Piven