Moussa Dadis Camara, the military junta leader in Guinea who was shot in December last year by one of his close allies, has finally left his hospital bed in Morocco where he was rushed to after the incident. Rather than head back to Conakry, he has gone to see his soul brother Blaise Compaore in Burkina Faso. Let us remind ourselves:
Compaore and the late Thomas Sankara were the leaders of the troop which staged a coup in 1983 to bring change to their poor country.
Under the leadership of Sankara, the country fashioned out some progressive policies which propelled the country formerly called Upper Volta, a rather poor and insignificant country, in the West African sub region, into limelight. The name was changed to its present name and it began to get noticed and record some modest progress.
However, lurking in the shadow of the progressive was Compaore. One day from the blues he showed his true colour. He emerged from the shadows and with his fellow conspirators murdered his best friend and assumed the leadership of the country. That was in 1987. Twenty three years after, as it is with of all military ‘saviours', he like a chameleon changed his garment and has since become a "democratically elected leader." This is the man that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) appointed to mediate truce in a troubled country! Talk of birds of a feather. What credible mediation is such a man going to give? That is for another day. Now that Camara has left his hospital bed in Morocco, what is the next step?
Perhaps he has gone to Ouagadougou to learn one or two lessons on how to survive in an atmosphere of treachery of which his host is a master. It is however important to let him know that he has become a cross and a liability who his colleagues back in Conakry may not be able to accommodate again.
Already, Sekouba Konate, the military General who has been holding forte in the last six weeks since Camara was shot, has made some conciliatory moves which have made the opposition to see him not as a hardliner like Camara. Although he has not signified nor shown it in his actions that he would contest the planned election, he has agreed to name a prime minister. He was said to have made the concession after he visited Camara on his hospital bed. Prior to the shooting of Camara by one of his trusted aides, over one hundred and fifty protesters who had gathered at a democracy rally to show their disapproval of Camara's plan to contest the election were killed by soldiers inside a stadium in the capital.
It was this incident which received worldwide disapproval because of its brutality and mindlessness that perhaps led to Camara's plight; a sort of stewing in his own juice.
Shortly after the massacre he had sought to distance himself and his regime from it claiming that he was not aware of the evil act. In fact, he subtly claimed that he was not in control of the military when it happened. Toumba Diakite, a Lieutenant in the army, who was said to have led the massacre, may have intended to have his own pound of flesh when he shot Camara in the head, intending to kill him because of his betrayal of their trust. Whichever way it goes, what this means is that since Camara survived he has to carry his can as the United Nations is already contemplating arraigning him for human rights violation, the same offence Charles Taylor is currently undergoing trial for at the International criminal court at The Hague.
Perhaps this kind of treatment would begin to teach those brutes some lessons.