Guinea's Camara to stay abroad, two proposed for PM

Guinea's military leaders agreed that junta chief , Camara would continue his convalescence after an assassination bid.

Guinea's Camara to stay abroad, two proposed for PM

Guinea's military leaders agreed on Friday that junta chief Moussa Dadis Camara would continue his convalescence after an assassination bid, leaving his second-in-command in power.

The agreement, after mediation in the Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou, improves the chances that caretaker leader Sekouba Konate will follow through on a pledge this month to hand power back to civilians in the world's biggest bauxite exporter.

Meanwhile, Guinea's coalition of opposition and civil society groups proposed Jean Marie Dore, their spokesman, or Rabiatou Serah Diallo, a union leader, for the job of prime minister and called on Konate to decide between the two.

Camara, accused in a U.N. report of crimes against humanity for a crackdown on pro-democracy marchers that killed over 150, left a Moroccan clinic earlier this week and officials said he was determined to return to Guinea to resume his rule.

"(Camara) ... will take some time to convalesce while remaining, at the same time, ready to support those running the transition," read a joint statement from Camara, Konate and Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore.

Alain Yoda, Burkina Faso's minister of foreign affairs, said that Camara would initially remain in Ouagadougou but might travel elsewhere at a later stage.

Regional leaders had feared Guinea might descend into chaos after the Dec. 3 assassination attempt on Camara but Konate improved hopes of peace by offering the opposition the post of prime minister to oversee the return to civilian rule.

Diplomats and analysts had warned that Camara's reappearance also risked overshadowing the talks between opposition groups, known as the "Forces Vives", to name a new prime minister.

But the grouping ended days of speculation by putting forward two names and told Konate to chose between.

"There were many candidates and we chose two," said Diallo in Conakry. "It is up to General Sekouba Konate, who is the head of state, to make the decision," said Dore, also in Conakry.

Burkina Faso has been leading mediation efforts between the Guinean junta and the opposition. But tensions had risen between the Camara and Konate factions within the junta.

Earlier, sources close to the talks said Camara's supporters were shocked to see how weak he still was, a month after being shot in the head, and that his return to Guinea was increasingly unlikely.

"Dadis Camara is very weak and even his supporters understood this when they saw him at the presidency. It was a blow to their morale," said an aide to Burkina Faso's president.

Camara, who seized power in a bloodless December 2008 coup, has broken earlier promises to hold elections and step down.

Ex-colonial power France has warned that Camara's return to Guinea, the world's biggest exporter of the aluminium ore bauxite, could spark a civil war.

Reuters
Last Mod: 16 Ocak 2010, 12:08
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