'I shot Camara'

2009-12-16 18:54

Conakry - A former aide to Guinean junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara has confessed to shooting the West African leader out of fear that he would be held to blame for the bloody quashing of a pro-democracy rally.

The botched December 3 assassination attempt has left Camara lying in hospital in Morocco with gunshot wounds to his head and thrown the world's top bauxite exporter into crisis.

"I shot him because ... (Camara) was committing treason," Lieutenant Aboubacar "Toumba" Diakite told Radio France International (RFI) in an interview aired on Wednesday.

"He tried to blame me for everything that happened on September 28. It was this act of treason that pushed me into acting," he said of a September crackdown by security forces on anti-junta marchers which witnesses say left more than 150 people dead.

Toumba was speaking from an undisclosed location and told RFI he would remain in hiding.

The assassination attempt took place as UN investigators were in Guinea probing into the September 28 incident. The world body is due to issue a report later this month on who was responsible for the September killings.

Defence Minister Sekouba Konate, Camara's number two, is currently leading the West African nation. Konate has led operations to search for Toumba and appears for now to have restored order to the ranks of the soldiers.

Camara's bloodless coup in December last year was initially welcomed by a population seduced by promises of change after years of misrule under the late strongman Lansana Conte.

But deepening divisions within the military and Camara's erratic leadership have increased calls for the junta to step aside and allow elections to restore civilian rule.

Talks between the military and the opposition at the weekend failed to make any progress.