Guinea says arrests mutinous pro-Camara soldiers

Source: Reuters

* Soldiers arrested over mutiny * Neighbouring states hope for transition to civilian rule CONAKRY, April 2 (Reuters) – Authorities in Guinea have arrested a dozen soldiers linked to sidelined military ruler Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, accusing them of instigating a mutiny, officials said. Camara lost his grip on power after being wounded in a gun attack by an ex-aide last December, opening the way for a transition to civilian rule which neighbours hope will stave off more unrest in the coup-prone West African state. The mutiny took place on Wednesday in the Kaleah military camp some 100 km (62 miles) east of the capital Conakry, where Camara was believed last year to be training a militia of ethnic allies to support his rule, the officials said. “About a dozen soldiers … were arrested and are being held in a gendarmerie camp,” said a military source, naming Camara’s former deputy aide-de-camp Marcel Guilavogui among them. “Those arrested are the ones suspected of being the brains behind the operation,” the source, who declined to be named, said of a series of arrests made mainly in Conakry. A senior police source said the military camp had been damaged during the revolt as the Camara allies sought to make off with weapons being stored there. Camara seized control of the world’s top bauxite-exporting nation in a 2008 coup, initially winning support by pledging to restore law and order. But he became increasingly unpopular as the army committed abuses, and were accused of killing over 150 people in a Sept. 28 pro-democracy rally. Since the failed attempt on his life, Camara has been replaced by his deputy in the ruling junta, General Sekouba Konate, who has appointed a civilian prime minister, promised an election in June and made efforts to improve army discipline. One of Konate’s first steps was closing the camp in Kaleah, where analysts and security sources said Israeli and South African mercenaries last year trained a force of hundreds loyal to Camara, a move that deepened opposition to his rule. But groups of youths who had spent a year in training returned to the camp this week and tried to seize weapons. “Orders were given to destroy the camp. We will no longer tolerate any trouble of this kind in the country,” the military source said. (Reporting by Saliou Samb; Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Mark John and Ralph Boulton)
spotted by RS
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