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Still in shock after the bloody crackdown that cost the lives of 157 people on Monday in Conraky, Guineans wait in apprehension for their junta leader’s next move. One of our Observers gives us his view of captain Moussa Dadis Camara’s nine months in office.
The Head of Guinea’s military junta has tried to distance himself from the bloodbath that took place in Conraky stadium on Monday, when government troops opened fire on thousands of opposition protesters. Camara claims he doesn’t control the army, but his image as a peaceful transition leader after former president Conté’s death is in shambles, and many Guineans view him as nothing more than a dictator.
Although his political and economic achievements after nine months in office are considered mediocre at best, Captain Camara readily sees himself in the presidential seat for good.
"It's partly true when he says he doesn’t control the army"
Noel Etienne Gnimassou is a technician in an aluminium plant in Fria, north of Conraky.
I commented the situation in Guinea for the Observers in December 2008, on the death of president Conte. At the time, I said the country needed change.
We wanted to believe Camara could bring change, that the country’s situation would evolve in a positive direction. Nine months later, the result is very disappointing. The economy is still sluggish, we can feel that in the aluminium plant I work in.
Captain Camara is an incompetent leader. He was active during the first three months after he seized power: he fought against corruption, forced the old generals close to former president Conté to retire and tackled drug trafficking. But gradually he began to feel too comfortable in the president’s role, and we’ve known for months that he won’t keep his promise not to run for office. I believe his circle of supporters pushed him to hold on to power when he was hesitating.
It’s partly true when he say’s he doesn’t control the army, although he’s mainly saying that to wash his hand’s of Monday’s massacre. The army here is more a combination of armed groups rather than one national force. However, the two days of “national mourning” proclaimed by Camara are a mascarade, it’s completely hypocritical. He’s trying to sooth the international community because he’s afraid of being brought to justice."