Guinea says 39 arrested following Conde attacks


Authorities in Guinea said they had arrested 39 people after a failed assassination attempt on President Alpha Conde last week, saying those arrested had spoken of links with political and business circles.

Conde escaped two gunfire and rocket attacks on his residence in the capital Conakry on July 19 that killed at least three people and left his home riddled with bullets.

The assaults which authorities have linked to former senior officers in the army, raised concerns about stability in a West African state which is the world’s top exporter of the aluminium ore bauxite and whose iron reserves are coveted by mining majors, Reuters reports.

An official of Guinea’s justice ministry said investigations were going on and that the 39 detained, including 26 army officers and 13 civilians, will appear in court on Wednesday.

Nouhou Thiam, a general sacked by Conde in one of his first moves to reform Guinea’s army, notorious for lack of discipline, was among those arrested.

President Conde, speaking on Guinean national television early on Tuesday, said a separate tribunal will not be created to try the military officers.
“When they will appear in court, they will have their lawyers. It will be transparent, but all those involved will face the full might of the law,” Conde said.

Conde referred to links between those arrested and Guinean political and business circles, but did not say whether further arrests were expected.
“There are many politicians and business people who have been mentioned by those arrested. There are politicians who know how much they are involved and they are in hiding,” he said.

Conde came to power last December after the first free election in Guinea since independence from France. The country had been ruled by a military junta since the death of veteran leader Lansana Conte in 2008.