Page last updated at 09:47 GMT, Friday, 15 January 2010

Guinean coup leader Moussa Dadis Camara urged to return

Captain Moussa Dadis Camara
Capt Moussa Dadis Camara seized power in Guinea in December 2008

Senior Guinean military officials have called for the return of injured coup leader Moussa Dadis Camara.

Capt Camara arrived in Burkina Faso on Tuesday from Morocco, where he was being treated after being shot in the head in an assassination attempt.

There have been suggestions Burkina Faso, which is mediating in the crisis, may be holding him against his will.

Burkina Faso has admitted Capt Camara thought he was returning to Guinea when he left hospital in Rabat on Tuesday.

"Apparently, President Dadis Camara thought he was going to Conakry," Burkinabe Foreign Minister Alain Yoda told the BBC's French Service on Thursday.

Correspondent says the international community wants Capt Camara kept away from Guinea and regards his deputy, interim leader Sekouba Konate, as the man to steer the country towards democracy.

But in their statement, the junta appeared to reject concerns that Capt Camara's return to Guinea could block the restoration to civilian rule promised by Gen Konate.

It said that Gen Konate, who has been holding talks with Capt Camara in Burkina Faso's capital, Ouagadougou, should fly back with him.

'No impunity'

"The collective members of [the junta] and the chiefs of staff of the armies of air, sea and land stand in solidarity behind Gen Sekouba Konate's call for a rapid transition," said the statement read on state TV and radio.

"But we encourage and ask for the quick return of Capt Moussa Dadis Camara to Conakry. We are recommending that Gen Sekouba Konate bring him back."

Map of West Africa

The permanent secretary of the junta, Col Moussa Keita, arrived in Ouagadougou on Thursday with other senior junta officials, the Associated Press news agency reported.

"We have been sent by the sovereign and independent people of Guinea," Col Keita said. "We have come to bring back our president."

Capt Camara seized power in a coup in December 2008 after the death of long-time ruler Lansana Conte.

At first he promised a return to civilian rule, but soon dropped hints that he would stand for president himself.

That led to a pro-democracy rally on 28 September in the capital, Conakry, at which rights groups say more than 150 people were killed when the military opened fire.

A recent UN report on the stadium massacre said Capt Camara should face trial at the International Criminal Court over the brutal suppression.

Morocco is not a party to the Rome Statute that established the ICC.

Burkina Faso is and so would in theory be obliged to arrest the Guinean leader if a warrant was issued.

A source in the ICC prosecutor's office told the BBC on Thursday that Burkinabe President Blaise Campaore had assured them that "impunity is not an option".

Capt Camara was shot by his former aide-de-camp in an assassination attempt on 3 December.

Gen Konate has been in charge for the last six weeks while the coup leader was receiving medical treatment in Rabat, and has already opened discussions with the opposition.

Capt Camara held talks for a second day with Gen Konate and Mr Compaore on Thursday.

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Al Jazeera Guineans agree to keep Camara out - 4 hrs ago
Reuters UK REFILE-Guineans welcome deal on junta chief, poll plans - 5 hrs ago
Yahoo! UK and Ireland Guinea seeks new prime minister after crisis deal - 6 hrs ago Guinea's Leader Says He's Not Returning Home - 27 hrs ago

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