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Guinean soldier implicated in 2009 massacre arrested

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Toumba Diakite, aide to Guinea's military ruler Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, at the Martyrs Square of Conakry during Independence Day ceremonies. Diakite, who has been a fugitive since December 2009, has been arrested in Dakar, sources said on December 20, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Seyllou

Toumba Diakite, aide to Guinea’s military ruler Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, at the Martyrs Square of Conakry during Independence Day ceremonies.<br />Diakite, who has been a fugitive since December 2009, has been arrested in Dakar, sources said on December 20, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Seyllou

Guinea on Tuesday said that a key aide to the leader of a junta in the country has been arrested in neighbouring Senegal following a 2009 massacre in which both men were implicated.

In December 2009, Aboubacar Sidiki Diakite shot coup leader Dadis Camara in the head at a military camp in Conakry, accusing his ally of wanting him to bear sole responsibility for the massacre of 157 people.

Guinean Justice Minister Cheick Sako told AFP: “The arrest of ‘Toumba’ Diakite was not a surprise,” using the soldier’s nickname.

Senegalese media said he was arrested by police at the end of last week and appeared before a judge on Monday who ordered him remanded in custody.

Senegalese officials could not immediately be reached for confirmation.

Diakite has lived in the Senegalese capital under an alias for several years and has altered his appearance to move around unnoticed, local media reported Tuesday.

Camara and Diakite are both accused of involvement in a September 2009 massacre at an opposition rally which witnesses said saw “red berets” (presidential guardsmen) firing in bursts at a crowd, and beating and arresting opposition leaders.

A UN investigation found that 157 people were killed and at least 109 women raped in the stadium and its surroundings.

Human Rights Watch said Tuesday that Diakite’s arrest “represents a major step forward in Guinea’s investigation into the 2009 stadium massacre”.

“A panel of judges has been investigating the crimes since 2010, and victims are eager to see the case move to trial,” it added in a statement.

After being seriously injured in the attempted assassination, Dadis Camara was evacuated to Morocco and has since been living in Ouagadougou.


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