Page last updated at 18:58 GMT, Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Guinea junta blames Toumba Diakite for massacre

Capt Moussa Dadis Camara  (L) and Lt Toumba Diakite (R)
Lt Toumba Diakite (R) was suspected of shooting Moussa Dadis Camara (L)

A renegade Guinean soldier was solely responsible for massacring protesters at a rally last September, an inquiry backed by the ruling junta has said.

The probe blamed Lt Aboubakar Toumba Diakite - a soldier who shot and wounded junta leader Capt Moussa Dadis Camara last December.

It cleared Capt Camara of involvement - contradicting the findings of an earlier UN inquiry.

Capt Camara is still recovering from the shooting in Burkina Faso.

The BBC's West Africa correspondent Caspar Leighton says with so many other inquiries arriving at conclusions contrary to this one, many people will not take it seriously.

Leader absolved

Human rights groups say that at least 157 activists were killed and dozens of women raped during a pro-democracy rally at football stadium on 28 September last year.

Caspar Leighton
Caspar Leighton
BBC News
With so much recorded testimony that runs counter to this latest assessment, it is unlikely that many will take it too seriously.

The United Nations sent an investigation team which said more than 150 people were killed, with dozens raped and assaulted. It judged that Capt Camara and two others - Lt Diakite and Major Moussa Tiegboro Camara - bore responsibility for the killings.

The Guinean military commission says of the three, only Lt Diakite is responsible, along with an unidentified number of the presidential guard and others. The commission says 63 people died, far fewer than other Guinean and international findings.

Lt Diakite, in hiding since the shooting, previously told French radio that he shot Capt Camara because he feared the military leader was trying to blame him for the massacre.

Prosecutor Siriman Kouyate, head of the Guinean commission of inquiry, laid the blame squarely on the renegade soldier.

"Lt Toumba Diakite and a group of red berets from the presidential guard were responsible for the rapes, murders, injuries and mysterious disappearance of bodies," he said.

Mr Kouyate said Lt Diakite should face justice because he had disobeyed orders that the army should stay in the barracks.

He added that Capt Camara was "responsible for nothing".

"It has been established that the president did not go to the stadium."

The Guinean commission said that 58 people had died at the stadium and another five in hospital, according to the AFP news agency.

The commission also called for an amnesty for the opposition leaders who called for the pro-democracy protest.

These include veteran opposition leader Jean-Marie Dore, who was last month sworn in as prime minister, tasked with steering the country towards an election in six months' time.

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New York Times After Massacre, Guinea Sees Hope of Lifted Chains - 18 hrs ago
France24 AFRICA: Guinea absolves Dadis Camara of any blame for massacre - 24 hrs ago Camara not guilty of massacre - 24 hrs ago
Washington Post Guinean commission report casts blame for massacre - 31 hrs ago

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