Dadis Camara won’t apologize for the 2009 massacre

Dadis Camara won’t apologize for the 2009 massacre

Captain Camara, under whom one of the darkest pages in the contemporary history of Guinea was written, appealed to God before the magistrates: “If it is you who gave me the power (…) if I killed at the September 28 stadium, God, I will not set foot in Guinea, I want to die without this judgment- there takes place”.

He said bowing to the memory of the victims. But it’s not up to him to ask forgiveness: “What forgiveness am I going to ask?”he claimed during several hours of a rambling monologue, on December 12, in the style of his extravagant and ephemeral presidency.

(See again : Guinea: opening of the trial of the Conakry stadium massacre

Outside the court, Conakry was idling. The inhabitants of the capital crowded in front of the screens in the convenience stores or in front of the kiosks to follow the most anticipated moment of the historic trial which opened on September 28.

Captain Camara, 57, responds with a dozen former military and government officials to a litany of murders, acts of torture, rape and other kidnappings committed on September 28, 2009 by security forces at the 28-September stadium in the suburbs of Conakry, where tens of thousands of opposition supporters had gathered, and surrounding areas.

The abuses had continued the following days.

At least 156 people were killed and hundreds injured, at least 109 women were raped, according to the report of a commission of inquiry mandated by the UN.

The trial will try to say if Captain Camara, brought to power by a coup d’etat in December 2008, gave the order to break the protest, if he could have at least prevented this abomination or if, as he claims, it was perpetrated by men out of control.

Moussa Dadis Camara, in a large traditional mustard boubou, set the tone from the start of his appearance when the president of the court Ibrahima Sory Tounkara asked him to confirm that he was contesting the charges against him.

“Perfectly”, he replied. Then began a fiery soliloquy. Supporting the verb with his hand, Dadis Camara summoned the philosophers Heraclitus and Emmanuel Kant, the Egyptian pharaohs and Napoleon and the memory of his father. He repeatedly invoked God and destiny which made the little stewardship officer what he has become.

Dadis “is not crazy”

During the few months of his presidency, he worked to reconcile between them the Guineans, governed by autocrats since independence, he said. On September 28, it is “stayed in (his) office”, while some of his co-defendants were seen taking part in the crackdown. When he was informed of what was happening at the stadium, “furious”, he wanted to go there to restore calm. But his aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Aboubacar Sidiki Diakité, alias “Toumba”prevented it, he assured.
“Toumba” was covered in grenades, he reported: “I understood that I couldn’t stop him, he (had) the arsenal with him”.

Instead of me coming to ask forgiveness, it is Mr. Toumba and General Sékouba who must come before your august bar.
Dadis Camara

“Toumba” is perhaps the main accuser of Captain Camara, whom he shot in the head after the massacre because, according to him, the president wanted to make him bear all the responsibilities.

(See again : Guinea: the shocking testimony of “Toumba” in the trial of the September 28 massacre

Dadis Camara has “prepare” the massacre, said “Toumba” during his own testimony. He also summoned him to ask for forgiveness. “Instead of me coming to ask for forgiveness, it is Mr. Toumba and General Sékouba who must come before your august helm”replied Dadis Camara.

General Sékouba Konaté was part of the junta led by Captain Camara. After the massacre and the sidelining of the latter under international pressure, he became transitional president. Under this presidency was held in 2010 the presidential election during which the historical opponent Alpha Condé became the first president elected in free elections in Guinea.

(RE)read: Guinea: the junta authorizes the return of former heads of state Sékouba Konaté and Moussa Dadis Camara

“The events of September 28 (were) a cleverly orchestrated plot to make me leave or kill me. By whom?”asks Captain Camara: “Mr. Alpha Condé, Sékouba and their executioner Toumba Diakité”.

He could have remained in exile in Burkina Faso and escaped trial. But “What is a man’s life? A man’s life is honor (…) my honor depended on it”.
“Certainly many may think: Ah! Dadis Camara is crazy. Dadis Camara is not crazy, Dadis Camara is generous because Dadis Camara recognizes his ancestors”.