Childhood & Early Life
Moussa Dadis Camara was born on January 1, 1964 in Koure, Guinea. He attended both primary and secondary school in Nzerekore. As a child, Moussa sold kola nuts in the street to earn money.
In 1982, Camara enrolled at ‘Abdel Nasser University’ in Conakry. He later graduated with a degree in law and economics.
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In 1990, the law graduate enrolled in the army. He was given the rank of corporal and was eventually appointed as the Chief of Fuels at an army base in Kindia.
In 2001, the military chief participated in a United Nations peacekeeping mission in nearby Sierra Leone.
In 2004, the President of Guinea handpicked Camara, as well as other Guinean soldiers, to report to Germany for 18 months of advanced military training.
In February 2007, Moussa helped organize a mutiny. He was later promoted to the rank of captain, the highest rank he would ever achieve.
In November 2008, he was appointed head of fuel supplies for the Guinean Army. Later in the year, he became one of the leading mutineers during an attempted coup, commonly referred to as the 'Christmas Coup'.
After the President died of natural illness on December 22, 2008, a military coup d'etat was launched. The mutineers formed the ‘National Council for Democracy and Development’ (CNDD) to lead the country. Camara was appointed head of the CNDD two days later, effectively becoming the new President of Guinea.
On December 25, 2008, the former Prime Minister, Ahmed Tidiane Souare, publicly declared his loyalty to the new President. Three months later, Souare was arrested and thrown into a military prison for challenging Camara's leadership.
In the first few months of 2009, the President’s popularity soared after several public crackdowns on drug trafficking in the country. Several leaders of trafficking rings were interrogated live on television by him.
On September 28, 2009 a political demonstration in the capital was dispersed forcefully by government forces. This event later became known as the '28 September Atrocity'. In response to this event, the ‘Economic Community of West African States’ agreed to impose an arms embargo on Guinea.
In October 2009, the United States, African Union and European Union imposed a travel ban on the President and 41 other members of the CNDD. The African Union and European Union froze bank accounts belonging to Camara and his associates.
On December 3, 2009, Moussa was shot. The next day he left to Morocco to seek medical treatment.
In January 12, 2010 he flew to Burkina Faso. After extensive negotiations with the President of Burkina Faso, the exiled President formally agreed to return Guinea to civilian rule and hold democratic elections.
Also in early 2010, Camara promised to remove himself from Guinean politics and do his convalescence in Burkina Faso. He also announced that he had changed his name to Moïse Dadis Camara.
On April 13, 2013, he traveled to Nzerekore to attend his mother's funeral. The former military leader then returned to Burkina Faso.
Personal Life & Legacy
Moussa Dadis Camara is married to Jeanne Saba. Together they have four children.
The military leader spoke five languages: Kpelle, Susu, Maninka, German and French. Although he was born Muslim, the former President later converted to Christianity. He is a member of the Kpelle ethnic group, one of the three principal groups in Guinea