CONAKRY — The third anniversary of Guinea’s stadium massacre falls during a period of political deadlock and serious civil unrest. A day that started with a commemoration ceremony ended with fresh clashes in the streets.
Friday - which marked three years since Guinea’s stadium massacre - began with survivors and victims’ families gathering for special prayers for those killed and missing in the attack, and ended with clashes between protestors and security forces.
On September 28, 2009 dozens of people were killed and hundreds injured and hundreds of women raped when soldiers cracked down on citizens rallying against the candidacy of then coup leader Moussa Dadis Camara.
At a morning press conference Friday human rights and legal experts talked about the status of efforts to bring perpetrators to justice. The 2009 incident is part of a long history in Guinea of abuses by security forces.
Abdoul Gadiri Diallo, who is with the Guinea Human Rights Organization, said bringing to justice those responsible for the 2009 attack would draw a line once and for all - Guinea’s future generations would not have to know the abuses and impunity of the past.
But even as Guineans discussed progress in the fight against impunity, families were mourning the deaths of two youths they say were killed by security forces during riots September 21 and 22 of this year.
A gendarmerie official said at least one of the youths was killed by a thief who was after his motorbike. But the families insist it was security forces who gunned down the two youth.
The two killed in the recent riots were Peul, the ethnic group dominating the opposition. Opposition militants decided to march with the youths’ bodies from a Mosque to a cemetery on 28 September, despite the tense atmosphere in Conakry.
On Friday afternoon some in the procession clashed with police and security forces. Many people were wounded. One witness said some of the marchers attacked a police station. He said he saw a man who lost part of his finger from a gunshot.
Many roads in Conakry were blocked on Friday evening and security forces in riot gear were visible throughout the city. Police were seen running into families’ yards waving their clubs as residents screamed.