CONAKRY Dec 20 Senegal authorities have
arrested a Guinean soldier linked to a 2009 massacre in Conakry
where at least 150 people were killed and dozens of women raped,
a Senegalese security source said on Tuesday.
The source said Lieutenant Aboubacar "Toumba" Diakite, who
witnesses say played a key role in the massacre at a Conakry
stadium, was arrested in Dakar on Monday.
The Sept. 28, 2009, incident in Guinea's capital is seen as
one of the worst acts of repression in West Africa's recent
history and Human Rights Watch called the arrest a breakthrough
in the bid to bring justice.
In that incident, security forces opened fire on
pro-democracy protestors who had gathered at the stadium to put
pressure on then junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara not to stand
at an election the following year.
Diakite was head of the presidential guard and a close aide
to Camara, who took power in a coup in 2008.
"The arrest ... represents a major step forward in Guinea's
investigation of the 2009 stadium massacre," said Corinne Dufka,
an associate director at Human Rights Watch. "Victims are eager
to see the case move to trial."
An extradition process has started to bring Diakite to
Guinea, said Baila Diallo, a public prosecutor at Guinea's Court
Diakite is also accused of having organised mass arrests of
army officers seen as hostile to the junta. Many were tortured,
according to their families.
Diakite shot Camara in the head in an assassination attempt
in Dec. 2009 and told French radio he did it because Camara had
cast the blame on him for the stadium massacre.
Camara survived but resigned the presidency and fled to
Burkina Faso, where he was charged in 2015 for crimes relating
to the massacre. He has not yet stood trial.
President Alpha Conde won the 2010 election in the first
democratic transition in Guinea, the world's top exporter of
aluminium ore bauxite. He was re-elected in 2015.
(Additional reporting by Diadie Ba; Writing by Nellie Peyton;
Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Tom Heneghan)