Guinea ex-junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara escapes jail

Saturday November 04 2023
Moussa Dadis Camara

Guinea's ex junta chief Moussa Dadis Camara at a press conference on September 30, 2009. PHOTO | AFP


The military-led government in Guinea says a former junta leader on trial for alleged human rights violations has escaped in an early morning jailbreak.

Captain Moussa Dadis Camara escaped from the Central Prison in Conakry on Saturday, after heavily armed men stormed the detention facility located in the heart of the Guinean capital, said Justice Minister Charles Alphonso Wright.  

“It was around 5am that heavily armed me attacked the Central Prison of Conakry,” he disclosed on a popular live radio breakfast show.

According to Mr Write, Camara escaped along with three other men who served in his administration - Colonel Claude Pivi, a former Minister of Presidential Security, Colonel Moussa Tiegboro Camara, former head of the anti-drug squad and Colonel Blaise Gomou, a former member of the anti-drugs squad. All four men are among the main accused in an ongoing trial for the alleged massacre of civilians.

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Reports earlier said that a heavy exchange of gunfire erupted around the Coronthie Central Prison which is located in the district of Kaloum and holds many famous inmates, among them officials of the NCDD junta of Dadis Camara who ruled Guinea from 2008 to 2010.


Dadis came to power on December 24, 2008, following the sudden death of longer time leader President Lansana Conte. The former Captain ruled for a year, before he was shot in the head in an apparent assassination attempt.

He and 10 other former military and government officials who served in his junta are accused of the killing of 156 people and the rape of at least 109 women in a Conakry Stadium on September 28, 2009. Their charges range from murder to sexual violence, kidnappings, arson and looting.

He returned home from exile in Burkina Faso in 2021 to face trial and “to clear” his name.

Read: Guinean ex-junta leader detained on eve of trial

Kaloum, where all the accused are held, is the administrative centre of the Guinean capital and it is home to very many important government institutions, notably the Presidential palace. The area is also a major business centre.

There is heavy presence of armed security men in and around the district, with the November 8 Bridge, which strategically links Kaloum to the rest of Conakry, completely cordoned off.

The streets of the area are also reported to be deserted, as inhabitants remain indoors amid the uncertainty.