January 8, 2010 / 2:57 PM / 9 years ago

Senegal sends plane to fetch Guinea No.2 : agency

Guinea's Defence Minister Sekouba Konate addresses soldiers at the Alpha Yaya Diallo military camp in the capital Connakry, December 11, 2009. REUTERS/Emmanuel Braun

DAKAR (Reuters) - Senegal sent an aircraft to Guinea on Friday to fetch Sekouba Konate, the army officer running Guinea since the wounding of junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara in a December 3 assassination bid, Senegalese news agency APS reported.

The departure of the caretaker leader will add more uncertainty over the leadership of Guinea, the world’s largest exporter of aluminium ore bauxite, because Camara remains in a Moroccan hospital undergoing treatment.

The news agency quoted an anonymous source as saying Konate, who on Wednesday promised in Camara’s absence to hand over rule to a civilian government, was making a private visit.

Separately, private Senegalese radio RFM said Konate was due to arrive in the capital Dakar on Friday for medical treatment.

There was no immediate confirmation of the trip from either Guinean or Senegalese officials.

Konate’s offer to allow elections as part of a transition to civilian rule has raised cautious optimism that Guinea can end a deepening political crisis that risks destabilising the region.

During Camara’s absence, Konate has also taken steps to improve discipline in Guinea’s unruly army and has so far managed to avert the threat of a counter-coup from within military ranks.

However he has a record of health problems and last year was himself evacuated to Morocco for treatment.

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