DE RUEHRY #0430/01 2041649
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 231649Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY CONAKRY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3872
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 CONAKRY 000430
DEPT FOR: DS/IP/AF, DS/DSS/ITA, AF/EX
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/22/2029
SUBJECT: CORRECTED COPY - SEIZURE OF DRUG LAB PROVIDES PR
OPPORTUNITY FOR DADIS
Classified By: ARSO David Miller for reasons 1.4(a) and (g).
1. (SBU) Summary: The discovery of a cache of reported
narco chemicals sparked a flurry of CNDD activity. The
Embassy was invited by the Prime Minister to examine the
cache that reputedly belonged to a Guinea narcotrafficking
kingpin. The following day CNDD President Moussa Dadis
Camara held a meeting at Radiodiffusion Television Guineenne
(RTG) to discuss the situation and to appeal to the
international community for assistance. These events appear
to be designed to deflect attention from Dadis' plummeting
popularity and re-focus public interest on counternarcotic
activities. End Summary.
2. (S) On July 16, 2009 the RSO was invited to examine a
"drug lab" in the Gbessia section of Conakry near the
international airport that had attracted the attention of
local residents. Prime Minister Kabine Komara also called
the Charge for Embassy assistance and stated that the seized
chemicals could possibly be used for "weapons of mass
destruction." ARSO visited the site the following day along
a high ranking delegation of GOG officials and members of the
media. ARSO took photos of the chemicals and forwarded them
for analysis. The Prime Minister's assertion that they could
be used as WMD appears highly exaggerated. Although some of
the chemicals could possibly be used to process drugs, it is
difficult to determine their exact nature without further
analysis. The CNDD claims that the chemicals belonged to a
suspected drug trafficker in Guinea. However, many details
about the seizure, the origin of the chemicals, and the drug
lab's actual operation remain murky. The CNDD claimed it was
concerned about safely disposing the chemicals and wanted USG
and international assistance with the problem.
3. (S) Following the ARSO's visit to the lab, the Charge was
again contacted by the Prime Minister inviting the Embassy to
a press conference to be held by Dadis at the radio and
television network RTG on June 21. A/DCM, ARSO and PolOff
attended the three-hour meeting which was broadcast in its
entirety that night, replacing the normal news show.
4. (U) Dadis arrived in high style, driving a white pickup
packed with soldiers bristling with machine guns in the back.
Thirty SUVs in the motorcade accompanying Dadis roared into
the parking lot, and dozens of threatening red berets and
other military disembarked. Traffic was stopped in both
directions on a major Conakry thoroughfare for over three
5. (U) The diplomatic community, members of the Forces Vives,
ministers, and other CNDD members, along with heavily armed
soldiers and bodyguards crammed into a television studio.
Dadis took his seat on the sofa with an entourage of Pivi,
Tiegboro, the Prime Minister and others sitting nearby.
Dadis appeared calm and listened carefully to speakers from
the affected community representatives, chemistry professors,
and representative of community projects to combat drugs.
Dadis would occasionally interrupt speakers or chastise them;
the only outburst occurred when Dadis shouted at a soldier
whose cell phone continued to ring and the red berets rushed
to forcibly remove him.
6. (U) Unexpectedly, Dadis elevated Captain Tiegboro Camara's
position from Secretary of State for Special Services,
Anti-Narcotics, and Organized Banditry to that of a Minister,
and appointed Commissar Lansana Laye Camara as Tiegboro's
deputy. In his concluding remarks, Dadis repeatedly
petitioned the international community for assistance, and
often appeared to look at Embassy officers while doing so.
7. (SBU) COMMENT: The discovery of the chemical cache
provided an opportunity for Dadis to shrug off his plummeting
popularity and re-focus attention on his fight against
narcotrafficking Another big production at the RTG, coupled
with the evening broadcast, focused all eyes on Dadis and
kept both allies and potential rivals literally at his side.
8. (SBU) Dadis' repeated calls for aid from the international
community and from the U.S. via the Prime Minister, were
striking. The disposal of the cache of chemicals did seem to
genuinely confound some members of the GOG, however, the
inordinate amount of attention focused on the proper disposal
of these chemicals -- when other hazardous waste sites and
toxic substances abound in Conakry -- may be interpreted as
desperation to seek recognition and assistance from the
CONAKRY 00000430 002 OF 002
international community. END COMMENT.
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