<!-- IMAGE -->
Guinea's military government says it is launching what it calls an
independent investigation into last week's killing of opposition
demonstrators by security forces.
Military ruler Captain Moussa Dadis
Camara told state television that the commission of inquiry is his
government's response to calls from the international community,
political opponents, and local human rights groups to prosecute those
responsible for last Monday's violence.
A Justice Ministry
statement says the commission will include members of the ruling
military council, political parties, trade unions, civil society
groups, human rights organizations, lawyers, judges, and university
In all, the military government says 31 people will
investigate what happened when security forces opened fire on
opposition demonstrators at Conakry's main sports stadium. Human rights
groups say at least 157 people were killed. The military says 57 people
were killed, most in the crush of protesters fleeing the stadium.
Camara is blaming both "uncontrollable elements" of the military and
political opponents who he says should not have staged an illegal
Opposition leaders say they will not join proposed
regional efforts to mediate the crisis unless Captain Camara resigns
and his military council is dissolved.
There was no immediate
word on whether opposition groups would take part in the military
government's probe into the killings last week.
Community of West African States says it is organizing a regional
investigation involving both the United Nations and the African Union.
Rights Watch says that is an "excellent move." But it also supports
Guinea's own inquiry into the events of September 28.
heads Human Rights Watch operations in West Africa.
have up to 150 or even more murders of mostly peaceful demonstrators,"
she said. "Not to mention the horrific sexual abuse that happened
against an unknown number of women and other abuses that were happening
including theft and looting and so on. This was done by all accounts by
members of the security forces. They need to be held accountable."
says the volume of photographic evidence of sexual assaults against
women at the protest should be front and center in any investigation.
see security forces from a number of different corps," said Dufka. "You
have members of the presidential guard. You have what appear to be
members of the military, the police, and the gendarmerie. So right
there you have a number of people who are responsible."
were protesting Captain Camara's expected run for the presidency. He
has not yet formally announced his candidacy but has told supporters
that he will not insult them by ignoring their demands that he run.
African Union suspended Guinea following Captain Camara's December
coup. The AU says it will sanction him later this month unless he makes
clear that he will not be a candidate in elections scheduled for