January 13, 2010 / 12:35 AM / 10 years ago

Guinea's Camara arrives in Burkina Faso

Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, chief of the ruling junta in Guinea, salutes during a ceremony with Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore at the international airport in Conakry October 5, 2009. REUTERS/Luc Gnago

OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) - Guinean junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara arrived in Burkina Faso on Tuesday from Morocco after more than a month recovering from a failed attempt to assassinate him, a Reuters witness said.

With two people supporting him, Camara walked off the Moroccan airplane at the military airport in the Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou, the witness said.

The re-emergence in public of Camara comes just days after the senior junta official in his absence pledged to pave the way for a transition to civilian rule, raising hopes of an end to a crisis in the world’s top exporter of the aluminium ore bauxite.

It was not immediately known why he had travelled to Burkina Faso and authorities were not immediately available to comment. Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore has led mediation efforts between the junta and the opposition since Camara seized power in a 2008 coup.

“We have just found out about this,” said junta spokesman Idrissa Cherif in Conakry. “For the moment we have no other information about the circumstances of his transfer.”

A source close to the Burkinabe presidency said Moroccan officials called earlier in the evening to say Camara was coming.

“We were completely taken by surprise,” the source said.

Camara, whom a U.N. report has held to blame for the September 28 killing by security forces of more than 150 pro-democracy marchers, was wounded in the head in a December 3 attack by a former aide and has spent the last month in a Moroccan hospital.

His deputy, Defence Minister Sekouba Konate, has ruled the country in the meantime and last week raised hopes of an end to the crisis by agreeing to allow an opposition-led transition government prepare the way for elections.

Reporting by Mathieu Bonkoungou; writing by Mark John; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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