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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09CONAKRY797 2009-12-22 15:54:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Conakry
Cable title:  

GUINEA: AFTER THE TOUMBA DIAKITE RADIO INTERVIEW,

Tags:   PREL PGOV PHUM ECON EFIN ASEC GV 
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R 221554Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY CONAKRY
TO AMEMBASSY LISBON 
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
AMEMBASSY PARIS 
SECSTATE WASHDC 4317
INFO AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
CIA WASHDC
DIA WASHINGTON DC
HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L CONAKRY 000797 

SIPDIS

PARIS, LONDON, LISBON FOR AFRICA WATCHERS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/21/2019
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM ECON EFIN ASEC GV
SUBJECT: GUINEA: AFTER THE TOUMBA DIAKITE RADIO INTERVIEW,
AMNESIA, REVISIONISM, RELIEF, HOPE

Classified By: Ambassador Patricia Moller for Reason 1.4 b/d



1. (C) Summary: The December 16 radio interview with
President Moussa Dadis Camara ex-confidant Lieutenant
Abubakar &Toumba8 Diakite, who tried to kill Camara and
then escaped, the National Committee of Inquiry,s release
the same day of its report on the September 28 massacre that
blames rogue elements for the killing, and the 18 December
release of the Human Rights Watch (HRW) results of its own
investigation into the massacre have agitated Conakry more
than anything since Toumba,s December 3 attempt to kill
Camara. The HRW report has Toumba actively involved in the
massacre, beating and rapes on &Bloody Monday8, as the
report calls it, but his shooting of Dadis Camara has made
him a folk hero for many Guineans who at the least see what
he did as a the way to depose Camara from power, and at the
most as opening a solution to transition from military to
civilian democratic rule. End summary.



2. (C) Conversations with labor, opposition and youth
leaders, as well as listening to public opinion, have
indicated a sense of relief at the shooting by Abubakar
&Toumba8 Diakite of CNDD Chairman and President of Guinea
Moussa Dadis Camara as Toumba, as he is popularly known,
resisted Camara,s attempt to blame him entirely for the
planning and execution of the disastrous September 28
massacre that, according to the Human Rights Report &Bloody
Monday, The September 28 Massacre and Rapes by Security
Forces in Guinea8, left 157 people dead and 1,400 injured
and at least 63 girls and women raped.



3. (C) This relief actually turned to hope after Conakry
started to talk about the 16 December 6:30 am local time
interview on Radio France International with Toumba himself,
on the run since he barely escaped capture after shooting
Dadis Camara. In the interview, almost surreal with happy,
laughing children in the background, he said that Dadis
wanted &to do a total betrayal of me and a total betrayal of
democracy8 by attempting to place the blame entirely on him
for the massacre; that he is on the run and will not turn
himself in; that he shot Dadis in the neck rather than in the
head as originally reported; that &I struck people and I was
struck8; and that he saved an opposition leader from death
by removing him from the stadium during the mayhem.



4. (C) The Toumba interview, probably by design,
overshadowed the press conference at 11:00 am that same day
to present publicly the Commission of National Inquiry,s
report on the massacre, which blamed rogue elements for the
deaths, beatings and rapes. The presentation featured a
female commission member who denied that any rapes took place
because no one accepted the Commission,s invitation to
present evidence that they happened.



5. (C) Then on Friday, 17 December, Human Rights Watch
issued its 107 page report, which asserted that the massacre
was a premeditated and skillfully executed massive violation
of human rights. The report, based on interviews and
research conduced October 10-22, 2009, had little positive to
say about Toumba: he led the soldiers into the stadium in
which the massacre largely took place, he was there when they
shot innocent people, he watched soldiers rape women and did
nothing to stop it, and he led the soldiers who beat and
detained opposition leaders.



6. (C) Until the radio interview, Toumba was a major
target of vilification for the massacre. After the
interview, he was seen by some Guineans as a positive figure
since his attack short-circuited the impasse between Dadis,
ambitions to stay in power and opposition desires to
transition to democracy. That he, together with Gendarme
Captain Moussa Tiegboro Camara, the Minister for Fighting
Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime, gathered together
opposition leaders, removed them from the stadium, and
eventually took them a clinic in town for medical treatment,
has only served to raise his stock among ordinary people and
the opposition, even though his motives were unclear.



7. (C) Guineans generally appear ready not merely to
excuse him for his misdeeds but to forget what he did,
because he disabled what is widely regarded as a deranged and
drug-addled Dadis Camara. That he has survived the almost
three week manhunt before appearing on the radio and has
given himself a political boost by identifying himself with
&democracy8 further increases his currency. Yamoussa Toure,
Deputy Secretary General of the National Confederation of
Guinean Workers, expressed the typical national opinion,
telling POLOFF on December 15 that &Guinea was saved from a
civil war on December 38 and that Toumba,s act was &heroic
and timely.8 &Toumba,s act is the gateway,8 he continued,
&towards solving Guinea,s crisis.8 More prosaically, as
a Forces Vives figure said, &Guineans are just happy to see
Camara removed from the scene.8



8. (C) As one might imagine, the GOG is furious at the
rise in Toumba,s stock, and wants to debunk it. On
state-owned national television, the government called the
opposition ¬hing but liars,8 who condemned Toumba for
his involvement in what the GOG merely calls the &28
September 2009 events8 and now thank him for their lives.



9. (C) Upcoming is the release of the UN report on the
events of September 28, which we hear from French Embassy
sources, corresponds closely with the HRW report.



10. (C) Comment. Although Dadis Camara was removed from
the scene violently rather than through constitutional means
it will be better for Guinea if he does not return. His
erratic, violent and unpredictable behavior and his similarly
rapacious and unstable cronies only foretell a sad future for
Guinea if they return to power. The rapidity of Toumba,s
rehabilitation is likewise disturbing since he is widely held
to have been behind both the December 23, 2008 coup and the
September 28, 2009 stadium massacre as well. This does not
augur well for either the average Guinean or the formal
opposition since things that people willfully forget in
desperation often come back to haunt them. An international
force, probably constituted by ECOWAS, seems indisputably the
best way forward. The presence of such a body to protect the
peace could give Guinea the time it needs to frame a
transition and move to democratic elections.

MOLLER
Moller