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Guineans Pause to Remember September Massacre

  • Peter Clottey

A Guinean human rights activist said a foundation has been set up to keep alive the memory of those unarmed opposition protesters massacred by the military on 28th September, 2009.

Thierno Balde, president of Guinea's Research Institute on Democracy and the Rule of Law, a non-governmental organization, told VOA Guineans have expressed concern the perpetrators of the massacre are yet to be punished for their actions.

“The objective of the foundation is not only to keep the memory of those who were killed, but also to make sure that they get justice. It’s a new foundation and there have been some activities which have been planned for Tuesday. The intention is how to mobilize the international community and also the government and the parties in Guinea so that those victims will get justice.”

Several local and international groups accused Guinea’s presidential guard of opening fire on a peaceful political rally killing more than 150 people and raping hundreds of women at a stadium in the capital, Conakry.

Last year, opposition activists protested the possible candidacy of junta leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, who previously vowed not to participate in a presidential election that was scheduled for 31st January this year.

The military junta said only 57 civilians were killed at the stadium. But, the United Nations and human rights groups insist the death toll exceeded 150.

Balde said several activities have been scheduled for Tuesday to remember those killed by the presidential guard.

“In principle, it’s the judiciary system here in Guinea which should investigate and bring to justice all of those who were involved in the massacre. (But), in case the judiciary system in Guinea is incapable of bringing those people to justice, the International Criminal Court might be involved.”

Analysts say an attempt to punish the perpetrators could derail Guinea’s fragile attempt to build up its democracy.

Meanwhile, Guinea’s electoral commission has proposed the second round-off vote should be held on 10th October.

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