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Page last updated at 16:54 GMT, Friday, 15 January 2010

Guinea interim leader Gen Konate 'threatens to resign'

Gen Sekouba Konate, Guinean interim leader (file image)
Gen Sekouba Konate has offered the post of prime minister to the opposition

The interim leader of Guinea's military government has threatened to resign amid a row over whether the wounded president should return to the country.

Gen Sekouba Konate has been in charge since the president, Capt Moussa Dadis Camara, was shot six weeks ago.

Analysts say he is seen as the best hope for an end to the political crisis and a return to civilian rule.

But military supporters of the wounded president, who is now in Burkina Faso, are pressing for his return.

Gen Konate's threat followed talks between the two men and other senior Guinean military officials in Burkina Faso on Thursday, after Capt Camara flew there from Morocco.

Political crisis

He had been receiving treatment in Morocco following an assassination attempt by his former aide-de-camp on 3 December.

A senior army official said Gen Konate had said he would resign unless there was "a realistic agreement on the fate of Dadis Camara and on how the transition should be led."

CAMARA'S RULE
Captain Moussa Dadis Camara
23, 24 December 2008
Strongman President Lansana Conte dies, Capt Camara takes over, promises 2010 election
15 August 2009
Says he may stand for president
28 September
Soldiers kill protesters in Conakry, reports of atrocities and rapes
October
US, EU, African Union and Ecowas impose sanctions on junta
3 December
Capt Camara shot in the head in apparent assassination attempt
4 December
Flown to Morocco for surgery
12 January 2010
Capt Camara leaves hospital in Rabat and is flown to Burkina Faso

BBC West Africa correspondent Caspar Leighton says both the international community and the Guinean opposition see Capt Camara's absence as the best hope for an orderly transition to civilian, democratic rule.

Deputy US assistant secretary of state for African affairs William Fitzgerald told the AFP news agency that Capt Camara's continued absence could provide an opening for Gen Konate.

"We would hope that [Burkina Faso] holds on to Dadis, allows him to convalesce there, because I don't think he's fully recovered and [that] Konate be given the opportunity to return and continue transition with civilians," he said.

Capt Camara reportedly thought he was going to Conakry when he agreed to leave Morocco, only to find himself in Burkina Faso.

A 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".

Gen Konate has offered the post of prime minister to the opposition as part of moves to end Guinea's political crisis.

This was inflamed when the army opened fire on opposition demonstrators in September, leaving an estimated 150 people dead.

Our correspondent says some members of the military are worried not only about a loss of power, but about facing justice for the September killings under a new government.

The United Nations holds Capt Camara and others responsible for the killings.



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