The head of Guinea’s military junta cancelled a trip to Libya on Wednesday, officials said, and heavily-armed troops then beefed up security at strategic points in the capital Conakry. One presidential source told Reuters Moussa Dadis Camara went to the airport to board a waiting plane but after discussions with senior junta members decided to stay in Guinea, the world’s biggest bauxite exporter.

guineaConakry residents said troops erected barricades at a bridge leading into the city centre, around a major military base and outside the state radio and television buildings. The residents said troops manning the barricades told them to get off the streets and go home. A Reuters witness saw two military trucks and three pickups packed with heavily-armed troops driving through the capital.

Captain Mandjou Dioubate, a spokesman for the junta, said earlier on state television that Camara had cancelled his trip to Libya for scheduling reasons. There was no immediate explanation for the increased security in the capital. Camara, a relatively junior army officer, seized power in a December coup after the death of Guinea’s long-standing leader Lansana Conte, who ruled the West African country with an iron grip for more than 24 years.

Analysts say Camara’s power grab has alienated many of those who supported his coup as well as senior members of the military who have since lost some of the influence they held under Conte. Speculation about rifts within the military and a counter-coup have increased in recent weeks amid growing frustrations over Camara’s rule.



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