Sunday, June 14, 2009

[Guinean news] Ex-army chief charged with drugs trafficking

The former head of the Guinean army, Gen. Diarra Camara, and 19 others were charged with drugs trafficking. The group of defendants includes Nigerian, Ghanaian and Israeli nationals as well as Gen. Camara's son and the former and current heads of the country's Marine Corps.

The son of the late head of state Gen. Lansana Conte confessed early this year to being involved in drugs trafficking.

Friday, June 12, 2009

[Guinean news] Army chief calls for poll delay but is rebuffed by Dadis

Earlier this week, Guinea's army chief made waves by claiming that the country was not ready for elections in 2009 and that they should be delayed until next year.

However, the head of state, Capt. Moussa Dadis Camara, responded by insisting that elections would take place this year as scheduled.

When the German ambassador pressed Dadis if he would contest presidential elections if they were postponed until 2010, the junta leader angrily lashed out at the envoy. Camara promised not to stand in the 2009 elections, but some observers wonder if the promise precluded a candidacy if the polls were delayed until next year.

An correspondent shared his thoughts on a visit to the head of state's lounge.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

[Guinean news] Judicial strike; security chaos; Guinean soccer team loses at home

The Guinean military junta's cabinet member in charge of fighting crime and drugs trafficking provoked widespread international criticism when he urged civilians to 'burn alive' armed robbers caught in the act.

"I am asking you to burn alive armed bandits who are caught red-handed," said Capt. Moussa Tiegoro Camara. "Our jails and our correctional centres can no longer take in people and the situation cannot carry on like this."

The call was denounced by the Guinean Organization for Human Rights as well as international NGOs. It was seen as an admission of the junta's impotence in security matters.

Earlier this week, the Guinean judges and lawyers briefly went on strike to protest military interference in judicial matters. Yesterday, junta leader Capt. Moussa Dadis Camara fulfilled the strikers' main demand by eliminating the position of secretary of state responsible for conflicts.

The Guinean soccer team was defeated 2-1 on Sunday by Côte d'Ivoire in Conakry during a 2010 World and African Nations Cup qualifier. The loss marked the first competitive defeat at home for the national team since 1994 and their first loss of any kind at home since 1996. Following the match, national team coach Robert Nouarazet and the Guinean federation parted ways by mutual consent. The Frenchman was replaced by the revered former Guinean player Aboubacar "Titi" Camara.