Article written

  • on 23.12.2009
  • at 03:40 PM
  • by Staff

Guinea: Crimes against humanity 0

The international commission of inquiry established by Mr Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General to invest the massacres committed on September 28, 2009 in Conakry, the capital of Guinea, during the violent repression by the army in a political demonstration has submitted its results; and although the report has not been officially released, the media has already been able to review its main conclusions.

The UN commission has determined that the massacres and other violence perpetrated on September 28 and subsequent days in Conakry, the capital, should be qualified as “crimes against humanity”. It has assigned the responsibility of the bloody repression directly onto the shoulders of one M. Dadis Camara.

“The Committee considers that there are sufficient grounds to presume a direct criminal responsibility of M. Moussa Camara Dadis.” The investigators specifically mention three other officials as the main responsibles: Lieutenant Titi Cherif Diakite (Tumba), the aide de camp who shot Camara on Dadis Camara, Commander Thiegboro Moussa Camara, chief of special services and Captain Claude Pivi.

The campaign of terror seems to have been premeditated and organized to crush the opposition. This view is shared by all the opposition leaders, media both Guinean and international and human rights organizations.

According to the French newspaper Le Monde, the report contains the following affirmations:

in over sixty accurate and detailed pages, [the report] shows that it was not a day of political confrontation that went wrong, but a series of “systematic” killings, rape and torture “organized” against a part of the population. They require referral to the ICJ and called several people in the entourage of Mr. Camara as possibly responsible of these “crimes against humanity”.

The report confirms the figures already cited by several sources regarding the number of 156 people killed or gone missing on September 28 and at least 109 women and girls victims of rape, sexual mutilation and sexual slavery. The details are horrifying:

“Women have been raped with objects, including bayonets, sticks, pieces of metal batons”, “soldiers have completed rape by introducing guns into their vagina and drawing”; “a woman blindfolded, who had been raped, was murdered by a soldier when she pulled the scarf from her eyes. “

“Several bodies of victims recovered by the families had received bullets in the head, chest or ribs,” the commission wrote. It adds: “The use of lethal weapons against unarmed civilians, the fact of opening fire with live ammunition and without warning on a compact crowd gathered on the lawn and firing bullets until exhaustion and targeted parts of the body including vital organs are all evidence of the premeditated intention to make maximum casualties among the demonstrators.”

According to Le Monde, which was the first newspaper to have published the contents of the report:

The committee, which heard 700 witnesses, judge that the authorities did everything to hide the truth and said: “The number of victims is probably higher.” It mentions “hundreds of other cases of torture, cruel and degrading treatment” due to security forces in the days following September 28.

The blogosphere has recorded several reactions from both Guineans and the international community. For me, the most interesting is the analysis made by the website Collectif guinéen contre le pouvoir militaire, with the title Le noyau «Dadis ou la Mort» tient le pays en otage (Hardliner group called “Dadis or Death” holds the country hostage).

A hard core of faithfuls, nicknamed “Dadis or death” has been weakened, but they continue to hold important positions. They have the power to harm as the interim head of the Ministry of Defense, Sekouba Konate, despite being a respected military, does not control all elements of an undisciplined army.

Titi Cherif Diakite called “Toumba”, author of the murder attempt against Dadis Camara is hiding. The minister in charge of the fight against crime, Constable Thiegboro Moussa Camara, is also being treated in Morocco, having been wounded by a grenade on December 3 in unclear circumstances.

The big unknown remains the reaction of the fourth man, Captain Claude Pivi, called “Coplan”. The Security Minister, this violent man leading the Red Berets of the presidential guard, is responsible for the massacre of 28 September. He is considered as being in control of the Camp Alpha Yaya Diallo, the main barracks in Conakry.

Pivi being within the scope of prosecution for his involvement in the violence, Pivi seems to be attracted by headlong initiatives.

Hardliners such as Pivi have shown how far they are willing to go to retain power. Before sanctions were taken against the regime, a ship flying the Ukrainian flag full of weapons worth 45 million dollars landed in Conakry.

Israeli and South African mercenaries have been in the country for weeks training young soldiers who have been newly recruited outside of the normal army procedures on an ethnic basis – all coming from captain Camara’s region of origin. The divisions within the military are worrying.

Guineans, placed in front of having one hardliner like Pivi and General Sekouba Konate, would look kindly upon the taking of real power by the Minister of Defence. He has a higher level education and, in addition, he was absent from Conakry when the massacre took place on the 28. This is why a piece of information from the website brings a lot of hope to Guineans.

As the Moroccan government comes under heavy pressure from the United States of America, the Guinean Junta leader seems to have been placed under serious military protection otherwise known as indirect arrest, to prevent him from returning to Guinea. It seems the Americans are seizing this moment of opportunity to remove the Guinean dictator completely from the political landscape of the West African Country. The Moroccan government is under tremendous pressure not to release Camara from hospital and Newstime Africa has reliably learnt that the Guinean strongman is about to be moved from the hospital where he has been recouping to a villa in an unknown location in the capital, Rabat.

It continues by saying:

The United States seems determined to exercise its influence in the region and just a few days ago, the US government expressed its determination to keep the wounded Guinean Head of State, out of Guinea completely. It seems the US government wants to install its own favourable regime in the country and is currently in secret talks with the caretaker leader Defence Minister Sekouba Konate while Camara is receiving treatment for gunshot wounds in Morocco. The US is keen on not allowing rogue regimes to have any say in African governance and see the crisis in the West African Country as a window of opportunity to affect its influence in the country. The US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State William Fitzgerald has said “We’re reaching out to try and talk to Konate,” He also said that the crisis in Guinea was a symptom of a dangerous slide in West Africa.

Stability in Guinea is of paramount importance for the entire West African region, as reported by Binneh S. Minteh on the, a Sierra Leonean online news portal:

The mineral and agricultural resource country serves not only as a bread basket of the sub-region through its agricultural products, but also as a bastion of trade and ethnic interconnectedness across the western peninsula of the African continent. Through its Futa Jalon Mountains, Guinea also provides a source of waterway to West Africa’s three major rivers namely; The River Gambia, The River Senegal and The Niger River.

Abdoulaye Bah –

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Direttore Responsabile Giuseppe Frangi