The early morning gunfire at Conakry’s main prison in Guinea led to the escape of former dictator Moussa “Dadis” Camara and others involved in the 2009 stadium massacre, as reported by the country’s justice minister.
The incident prompted the closure of Guinea’s borders, a move announced by Justice Minister Charles Alphonse Wright following heavy gunfire in the Kaloum district of the capital, AP reported.
Among the escapees were Claude Pivi and Blaise Goumou, who, along with Camara, had been held on charges related to the 2009 massacre that claimed 157 lives.
Wright assured the public that efforts to locate the fugitives were underway and that those responsible would be held accountable. One of the escaped prisoners, Moussa Tiegboro Camara, has already been recaptured.
“We will find them. And those responsible will be held accountable,” Wright told local Radio Fim FM.
Camara had come to power in a 2008 coup d’etat after the death of long-time dictator Lansana Conte.
He had spent years in exile following an assassination attempt by one of his bodyguards, but returned to Guinea in late 2021.
The 2009 massacre resulted from Guinean security forces firing on peaceful demonstrators protesting Camara’s intention to run for president after seizing power.
The government had long sought to prevent Camara’s return from exile in Burkina Faso, fearing it could lead to political instability.
However, a coup in September 2021 brought a more amenable military junta to power in Guinea, facilitating Camara’s return.
Camara’s court testimony last year claimed he was asleep during the early hours of the attack and only became aware of the demonstrators’ deaths around 11 a.m.