Gunmen break Moussa Dadis Camara and three other officers out of a prison, leading to a successful manhunt.
Authorities in Guinea have confirmed that at least nine people were killed in an armed prison break that briefly freed a former president.
Heavily armed men took former military ruler Moussa Dadis Camara and three other officials from a central prison on Saturday morning. The escape prompted authorities to launch a nationwide manhunt, the Justice Department said in a statement Monday.
Camara, who was president from December 2008 to January 2010 after a coup, was back in Conakry’s Central House prison at the end of the day.
In a preliminary assessment of the prison break, the Justice Ministry said nine bodies had been found, including those of three attackers and four members of the Guinea Defense Forces.
Six other people were treated in hospital for gunshot wounds.
In the West African country with around 14 million inhabitants, a coup occurred in September 2021 when Colonel Mamady Doumbouya stormed the presidential palace with soldiers and overthrew civilian President Alpha Conde. Since then it has been run by the military government.
Camara has been in custody since his trial in September 2022. He and about ten other former military and government officials are accused of an attack in 2009 by security forces loyal to the then military head of government.
The murder of 156 people and the rape of at least 109 women began on September 28, 2009 at a political rally at a stadium in Conakry and continued in the following days, according to a United Nations-commissioned investigation.
Camara and his co-defendants are accused of murder, sexual violence, torture, kidnapping and kidnapping. If convicted, they face life imprisonment.
According to the international commission of inquiry into the attack, the process is unprecedented in a country that was ruled by authoritarian regimes for decades and where people had become accustomed to the impunity of the virtually untouchable security forces.
It was opened at the urging of Colonel Mamady Doumbouya. After his coup, he promised to rebuild the Guinean state and make justice his “compass.”
After the 2021 coup, Doumbouya was sworn in as president and, amid international pressure, pledged to hand over power to elected civilians within two years starting in January 2023.
The Forces Vives de Guinee, a collective of opposition parties and organizations, have since denounced broken commitments and authoritarian tendencies of Doumbouya’s military government, calling it an “emerging dictatorship.”
Source : www.aljazeera.com