Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Guinea: South Africans 'training Guinea junta'

South African and Israeli army instructors, hired by the ruling Guinea junta, are training pro-junta recruits in a camp in Forecariah, 100km south of Conakry, witnesses said on Monday.

The new soldiers recruited by the junta, which seized power in Guinea on December 23 last year, are being trained in a camp formerly used to house Sierra Leone refugees outside Forecariah.

Roughly 40 military instructors are training soldiers "recruited on the basis of their ethnicity" as they belong to the same group as junta leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, witnesses said.

"You can recognise them by their uniforms which say 'instructor' on the back," a local policeman who asked not to be named, told Agence France-Presse when reached by phone from Dakar.

Observers accuse the junta, under increasing international pressure after the massacre of over 150 opposition supporters at a rally in September, of recruiting young men from Camara's home region close to Liberia and Sierra Leone.

"[Camara] is training them to save his regime in case of trouble," another policeman speaking on condition of anonymity said.

According to a local observer, Camara wants to "make sure that his ethnic group dominates the army".

By AFP (17/11/2009)

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