Guinea coup head gives leaders 24-hour deadline to show up

Prime Minister Ahmed Tidiane Souare has not been seen in public since the coup was declared Tuesday.

guinea soldier 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
guinea soldier 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
The leader of a coup in Guinea called Thursday for the prime minister to come out of hiding and present himself at the group's military barracks within 24 hours along with the country's other heads of government. Renegade army Capt. Moussa Camara said in a radio broadcast that the leaders of Guinea's government and armed forces were to go to the Alpha Yaya Diallo barracks. Prime Minister Ahmed Tidiane Souare has not been seen in public since the coup was declared Tuesday, but maintained in a telephone interview from an undisclosed location Wednesday that he remained in control of the country. "If tomorrow arrives without them presenting themselves, we will organize a search across the entire country," Camara said. Camara was unknown to most Guineans until Tuesday, when he and other members of the military announced the coup after the death of longtime dictator Lansana Conte. Camara has declared himself president of Guinea's interim government. Initially the coup leaders promised elections within 60 days, but Camara later said the group would organize a presidential election within two years. "As the head of the junta, I am reassured and convinced I am president of the republic," he told the nation in his address Thursday morning. "But it is not my intention to be a candidate in the election of December 2010. Because one should never have the ambition to become something which one is not." Since independence from France in 1958, Guinea had been ruled by only two people until Conte's death Monday evening. He first took power in a 1984 military coup after the death of his predecessor and went on to win presidential elections in 1993, 1998 and 2003. But every election his government organized was marred by accusations of fraud. In 2003, he secured 95 percent of the vote - an improbably high tally for a man many say was deeply unpopular.