Guinea: Commando Jailbreak open old wounds

Guinea’s military junta chief, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara who was taken out of prison last Saturday by a heavily armed commando

HABARI DAILY I Kampala, Uganda I Guinea is grappling with the aftermath of a daring jailbreak that saw armed commandos liberate former dictator Moussa Dadis Camara and three co-defendants from prison. 

The audacious raid, which occurred in the early hours of Saturday, resulted in nine deaths and heightened political tensions in the West African nation.

Heavily armed assailants stormed the prison in the capital city, Conakry, taking Camara and three former senior officials who were facing trial for their alleged roles in a 2009 massacre during Camara’s presidency. 

Conflicting reports surround the escape, with authorities insisting it was an “escape” and Camara’s lawyer claiming his client had been “kidnapped.”

Camara, 58, has been in detention since September 2022, facing charges including murder, sexual violence, torture, abduction, and kidnapping related to the 2009 massacre. The incident, which took place at a political rally, resulted in the death of 156 people and the rape of at least 109 women, according to a UN-mandated inquiry.

The commando raid initially sparked fears of a coup attempt, prompting the ruling junta to call for calm and assure the public that the situation was under control. Prime Minister Bernard Goumou expressed gratitude that the chaos intended by “evil minds” had been averted.

Security forces, on high alert, intensified checks on vehicles entering the government district to locate Colonel Claude Pivi, one of the escaped prisoners who remained at large. Questions regarding security lapses at the prison arose, with government spokesman Ousmane Gaoual Diallo suggesting the involvement of insiders in facilitating the commando’s entry.


The aftermath of the jailbreak saw a swift response from the ruling junta, which published decrees removing 58 members of the military and prison administrative staff from their positions. Among those purged were Pivi and two other colonels who had escaped. The junta accused Pivi’s son of leading the commando raid, a claim vehemently denied by the family’s lawyer.

As the political turmoil unfolds, concerns are rising over the impact on Guinea’s stability. The trial of Camara and his co-defendants, initially scheduled to resume on Monday, was adjourned due to a lawyers’ strike. 


The trial, unprecedented in a country accustomed to the impunity of security forces during decades of authoritarian rule, has been a critical step toward justice for the victims of the 2009 massacre.

Guinea, currently under the leadership of Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, who seized power in September 2021, finds itself at a crossroads with the jailbreak exposing underlying tensions and power struggles within the nation. The coming days are crucial for Guinea as it navigates the aftermath of this shocking incident and strives to maintain stability in the face of a complex and evolving political landscape.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *