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Guinea’s ex-leader Camara recaptured after jail break by armed group

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Guinea’s ex-leader Camara recaptured after jail break by armed group

Former military ruler of Guinea, Moussa Dadis Camara, has been returned to prison after being forcefully taken by armed individuals, according to his lawyer.

The group stormed a jail in Conakry early on Saturday morning, taking Capt. Camara and three others, who are currently on trial for their alleged involvement in the deaths of over 150 people during a 2009 protest.

Alongside Capt. Camara, two other prisoners have also been located, although it remains unclear whether they were kidnapped or freed by their supporters.

READ ALSO: Armed men free Guinea’s ex-junta head, officers in audacious prison escape

Capt. Camara’s lawyer informed BBC that the former leader was taken against his will, asserting his confidence in the Guinean judicial system and denying any intention to escape from prison.

The country’s borders were closed as authorities initiated a search for him and the others taken.

Guinea’s Justice Minister, Charles Alphonse Wright, announced the escape on local radio, promising accountability for those responsible.

Gunshots were reported in Conakry before dawn, leading to a cordoned-off city center and the presence of military vehicles on the streets.

Among the reported escapees was Col. Claude Pivi, a former government minister accused of involvement in the tragic events at Conakry stadium in September 2009, where at least 157 people died during a protest against military rule, including numerous cases of reported rape.

Both Capt. Camara and Col. Pivi, along with nine other former officials charged over the massacre, have denied all allegations. Capt. Camara faces charges related to his command responsibility over the soldiers allegedly involved in the crimes.

Capt. Camara took power in 2008 after the death of President Lansana Conté. However, he was ousted and fled the country shortly after the Conakry killings and an assassination attempt.

Living in Burkina Faso, the 59-year-old returned to Guinea in September 2022 to face justice.

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