Guinea's No. 2 Leader Threatening to Resign

Published January 15, 2010

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — Guinea's interim leader has threatened to resign amid an impasse over whether the wounded president should be allowed to go home given fears his return could undermine attempts to restore civilian rule.

Opposition officials, meanwhile, named their candidate Friday to serve as prime minister in a transitional government proposed by the interim leader. However, it remains unclear whether the president, who survived an assassination attempt last month, even backs that plan.

Interim leader Gen. Sekouba Konate, Guinea's vice president, is under intense pressure from opposition leaders and the international community to keep Capt. Moussa "Dadis" Camara out of the country. Western diplomats fear it would sabotage efforts to restore civilian rule.

Camara, who seized power in a December 2008 coup and was shot in the head last month by his former aide-de-camp, has been accused of crimes against humanity for his alleged complicity in a September massacre of civilians.

The country's military junta says Camara must be allowed to return from Burkina Faso, where he was flown earlier this week after being ejected from Morocco.

Camara and Konate have been meeting behind closed doors in sessions mediated by Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore. Late Thursday, a nine-member delegation of junta officials also arrived in Ouagadougou to demand the return of their president.

A senior army official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to media, said Konate threatened late Thursday to resign if they do not reach a "realistic agreement on the fate of Dadis Camara and on how the transition should be led."

Konate told other junta leaders that the people of Guinea are "fed up with the military and they should prepare to leave power with civilians," the senior army official said.

Last week, Konate invited the opposition to name an interim prime minister to oversee a transitional period and eventually restore civilian rule through elections.

The opposition coalition on Friday proposed Jean-Marie Dore for the position. If Konate and the military junta agree on a coalition government and on the proposed candidate, Dore would replace current Prime Minister Kabine Komara.

Camara had been rushed to a Moroccan hospital for emergency surgery after last month's shooting and his health had become a tightly guarded secret, with many speculating that he was in a coma even as the government insisted that he was recovering.

Late Tuesday, he walked off a plane at Ouagadougou airport propped up by several people. It marked the 45-year-old's first public sighting since the assassination attempt.

Written by <P>By Associated Press</P>

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