News / Africa

Guinea Massacre Probe Lacks Credibility, Says Justice Center

Guinean junta chief Captain Camara signs  pact on 15 Jan 2010 in Ouagadougou during a meeting with interim junta chief General Sekouba Konate and Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore
Guinean junta chief Captain Camara signs pact on 15 Jan 2010 in Ouagadougou during a meeting with interim junta chief General Sekouba Konate and Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore

Multimedia

Audio

A fact-finding report commissioned by Guinea’s military junta to study last September’s Conakry soccer stadium massacre has come under fire for having sharp inconsistencies with the findings of a high level U.N. inquiry.  The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), says that the report into the September 28 killings and raping of civilians protesting against Guinea’s military junta failed consistently to account for what it called the “abhorrent abuses committed against the exercise of civil and political rights.”

Guinea
Guinea

NGO’s and international agencies estimate that more than 150 civilians were killed during the rampage and more than 100 women were raped.  The Conakry regime only confirms that 50 civilians lost their lives.

For its study, the junta hired an American consulting firm headed by former Chief Prosecutor at the Special Court for Sierra Leone David Crane and former Special Court investigator Alan White. But the director of the ICTJ’s Truth and Memory program, Eduardo Gonzalez, says the discrepancies go beyond a distinguished panel of jurists and the junta’s  dispute over the number of victims involved.

“The numbers are not perhaps the best place to start an inquiry.  The important thing to know is whether there is a pattern of criminality that can be confirmed and on the basis of understanding the pattern, then go to the exact death toll and human costs of these violations.  Now, in order to get to that step, you require, first of all, to ask the victims.  If the victims do not feel in a situation of security and safety that is appropriate for them to share their stories, then this is not going to be possible,” he said.

Guinea's military leads away protesters during violent government crackdown at a Conakry soccer stadium. 28 Sep 2009
Guinea's military leads away protesters during violent government crackdown at a Conakry soccer stadium. 28 Sep 2009

A high level U.N. commission inquiry said it has sufficient grounds for finding coup leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara directly responsible for the rash of killings and rapes, which it classified as crimes against humanity.  On December 3, Captain Camara was wounded by soldiers under the command of his aide, Abubakar Sidike "Toumba" Diakite.  Although he recovered from his wounds, Camara has agreed not to return to Guinea, pending that country’s holding of democratic elections and its return to civilian rule.

While the junta-commisssioned Crane Report assigns culpability for the massacre to the army unit commanded by “Toumba” Diakite, Mr. Gonzalez of the International Center for Transitional Justice contends that greater international scrutiny will uncover evidence that the September 28 violence was planned and organized by authorities above the units that carried it out.

Deputy prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda (L), flanked by Conakry central hospital's director Fatou Sikhe Camara (2ndL), listens to doctors on February 18, 2010 during a visit at Hospital Donka.
Deputy prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda (L), flanked by Conakry central hospital's director Fatou Sikhe Camara (2ndL), listens to doctors on February 18, 2010 during a visit at Hospital Donka.

“First of all, we are talking here about a crime that was committed using a state apparatus.  There are individuals who carried out the massacre, individuals who planned these activities, on top of the direct orders and the direct involvement of Mr. Camara.  So if Guinea is going to have a chance at reconstructing its democracy, it has to try to comply with international standards going way beyond what these preliminary investigations have shown,” he argued.

Guinea’s current military chief, Brigadier General Sekouba Konate, has agreed to a plan to hold elections by June.  The International Center for Transitional Justice, which operates in more than 20 countries on five continents, contends that to make the transition succeed, civil society groups and others in Guinea must be allowed to “confront the past with honesty, integrity and vigor” and conduct a credible probe that assigns accountability for the recent misdeeds that the junta has so far allowed to go unpunished.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid