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Home>>World >> Africa
09:30, December 26, 2008

Guinean PM reports to military junta

Guinea's prime minister turned himself in on Thursday along with his team of government to a military junta led by Moussa Camara, who has claimed himself "the president of the Republic" after a coup, according to agencies' report.

Prime Minister Ahmed Tidiane Souare led 30 government officials to the Alpha Yaya Diallo barracks around midday, after the Camara-led National Council for Democracy and Development (CNDD) ordered them to do so on Wednesday afternoon.

Souare reportedly surrendered himself to Camara, who received them and indicated the possibility of setting them free in exchange for cooperation.

The CNDD had threatened to launch a search for anyone of them failing to show up at the army camp by the end of Thursday.

Guinea's prime minister Ahmed Tidiane Souare(R) shakes hands with Guinea's coup leader Captain Moussa Camara in Conakry December 25, 2008.

The junta first ordered high-ranking government officials to report at the camp right after announcing the coup on Tuesday. But Souare rejected the order and denied the dissolving of his government at gunpoint, apparently dragging on for external support in the standoff.

Guinea's prime minister Ahmed Tidiane Souare(R) shakes hands with Guinea's coup leader Captain Moussa Camara in Conakry December 25, 2008.

Camara claimed himself "the president of the Republic" on Wednesday after being named head of the 32-member CNDD, which is composed of 26 military members and six civilians.

Meanwhile, the CNDD postponed a dusk-to-morning curfew until Friday, after announcing its imposition on Wednesday, citing the reason for the country's Christians to spend Christmas Day in "tranquility."

It also pledged to organize "credible and transparent elections by the end of December 2010."

Camara on Tuesday announced the dissolving of the government and the constitution in a military coup, hours after the state radio broadcast the death of President Lansana Conte, who ruled the country for 24 years.

A number of countries and international groups have voiced opposition to the coup, including the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union, the United Nations, the European Union and the United States.

Conte died at the age of 74 at 6:45 p.m. local time (1845 GMT) on Monday in a hospital in Conakry. He came to power in 1984 and was elected president in 1993. Conte won re-elections in 1998 and 2003.

Guinea won independence from France in 1958. It borders Guinea-Bissau, Senegal and Mali in the north, Cote d'Ivoire in the east, Sierra Leone and Liberia in the south and the Atlantic Ocean in the west.

With an area of 245,857 square kilometers and a population of 9.56 million, the country is also known for its rich mineral deposits, especially bauxite which accounts for half of the world's total reserves. The country, however, remained one of the poorest in the world.


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