Wounded Guinea dictator’s arrival in Burkina Faso fuels speculations, threats


Wounded Guinea dictator’s arrival in Burkina Faso fuels speculations, threats

Special to

The arrival (this week) of Guinea’s wounded military junta leader, Moussa Dadis Camara, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, has driven speculations to a new high among Africans, as well as among the Western world which wants to close his page and keep him away from the transition in his home country.

Camara, the president of the ruling National Council for Democracy and Development, was flown in on Tuesday night from Rabat, Morocco, where he had been hospitalized since early December after sustaining gunshot wounds in Conakry.

What is the next destination for the junta leader? Will he go back to Guinea or will he find another country to host him? These are some of the questions the African political observers are asking, as they try to analyze the interference by the West in Guinea’s political crisis.

Burkina Faso’s President Blaise Compaore, who is the facilitator named by the West African bloc ECOWAS, held talks with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner who wrapped up his African tour in Ouagadougou on Jan. 10.

Senegalese Foreign Minister Madicke Niang said the next day that the real intentions of the West were to close the chapter of Camara and find him another place to stay in Africa.

According to ECOWAS sources, Compaore had asked France to consider Camara in Guinea’s transition period, but the proposal was rejected by the French top diplomat, who noted that the return of the Guinean strong man to his country will be prejudicial for the electoral process being launched by the junta’s No. 2 Sekouba Konate, who has been in charge of the country in the absence of Camara.

This is why, due to pressure from the West especially France and the United States, Senegal which was initially supposed to host the junta leader sent an envoy to Burkina Faso to meet with Compaore and explain to him the complexities of Dakar to receive Camara.

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade openly supported Camara only one day after he took power in December 2008, and has been in trouble ever since with Guinea’s opposition and civil society, which believe that it was with Wade’s advise that Camara wanted to present himself as a candidate in the presidential elections originally set for Jan. 31.

As for the alleged decision by Konate to launch the electoral process after his visit to Rabat to see the junta leader, African political observers link it to the pressure from the Western powers who, after the massacre of Sept. 28, disqualified Camara from continued rule.

The junta’s troops clashed with protestors of Camara’s bid to run for the presidency in the capital Conakry on Sept. 28, killing157 people and injuring more than 1,200 others, a local human rights group has reported.

So many Africans including Guineans are asking themselves about the true health status of the military junta chief, who was evacuated on Dec. 4, 2009 to Rabat for medication after an attempted assassination by his aide de camp on Dec. 3.

After alighting from the plane on Tuesday night at the Ouagadougou military airport, Camara walked albeit with some difficulties, aided by two people. He also spoke for some time with senior officials in Compaore’s government, notably chief of general staff Gilbert Diendjere and Foreign Minister Alain B. Yoda, who had come to meeting him.

The kind of welcome accorded to him in itself lacked the fanfare reserved for a visiting head of state. Instead, it was headed by Foreign Minister Yoda, indicating that Camara’s chapter is in the process of being closed, observers say.

Sources close to the Burkina Faso Presidency disclosed that Camara might stay in Burkina Faso to regain his health. Compaore is also expected to meet with the members of Camara’s clan to ask them to be patient, as they are awaiting the return of their hero.

Beyond the return or no return of Camara to Conakry, the West African country is facing the delicate political situation where the socio-political stability is far from being achieved. A major question is, according to observers, how to control the troops and convince the faithfuls of Camara’s clan that his leadership is from now on a closed chapter.

Whether it is within the army or within the opposition pressure groups, harmony remains the biggest concern with no consensus yet in place. The process of nominating a prime minister from among the opposition as being negotiated is likely to divide the camp further.

According to sources close to Compaore, it is expected that in the coming days, Konate will be visiting Ouagadougou to discuss the acceleration of the electoral process. reference: Xinhua

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