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Anglais / Eighth anniversary of the massacres of the 28th, of September 2009 – Memorandum of Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta-Djallon to the Secretary General of the United Nations

septembre 30th, 2017 | par
Anglais /  Eighth anniversary of the massacres of the 28th, of September 2009 – Memorandum of Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta-Djallon to the Secretary General of the United Nations
         On the eighth anniversary of the massacres and rapes on the 28th of September 2009 in Conakry, Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta-Djallon is issuing this memorandum to reiterate the many demands made to bring to justice those accused of these crimes under the auspices of the United Nations and the International Criminal Court. It is also an opportunity to draw your attention to the plight of victims who survived the massacres and who live without any medical or legal support.
The United Nations Commission of Inquiry has unequivocally established that the assassinations and rapes of the 28th of September 2009 are imprescriptible crimes against humanity. The systematic denial of justice by the government of Mr. Alpha Condé, which we briefly recall below is all the more revolting.
The chain of events shows that it is imperative that the International Criminal Court and the United Nations take charge of the organization of the trials.
  • In 2010 the commission of inquiry of the massacres established by the ruling military junta concluded that the only person responsible was Toumba Diakité who was recently extradited from Senegal. The government of the transition headed by Mr. Sékouba Konaté would shine with a similar laxity.
  • Since then, preliminary examinations– prerequisites to the opening of an official investigation – have been initiated by the International Criminal Court. Ms. Bensouda has made several visits to Guinea to assess the progress of the investigations. At each visit, she has denounced the government laxity. She has issued warnings about possible ICC intervention. However, full investigations are yet to be engaged by the ICC.
  • On October 25th, 2014, the Guinean president declared in public his desire not to organize trials on the massacres of 2009. He cited as excuse the state and political crime of the past. In fact, Mr. Alpha Condé is using the crimes against humanity of 2009, as a weapon of ethnic division. He is floating collective ethnic guilt to dilute individual responsibilities and scuttle the judicial process.
  • Ms. Bensouda’s visits were followed by a UN expert mission in Guinea. After evaluating the situation of the victims and the action of the Guinean judges in charge of the investigations, they promised witness protection measures and the assistance of legal expertise. The pool of Guinean judges is anonymous. The judges allegedly have held hearings of more than 400 victims. They have indicted around 20 army officers and political officials. However, none of the officers has been dismissed from the army and the administration.
  • During a visit to Guinea in April 2016, Ms. Zainab Bangoura, UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflicts, urged the authorities to speed up the judicial process of the crimes of 28th of September 2009. The visit was made jointly with Ms. Sarah Sewall, US Under-Secretary of State for Human Rights, who offered a US assistance package of $1.4 million.
  • During his visit to the UN in March 2016, the Minister of Justice announced that the trials would begin before the end of the year. He then announced a postponement to 2017 and recently to 2018. Despite the combined support of the European Union, the United Nations and the United States, the Minister of Justice continues to invoke financial issues. More seriously, he floats the risks from Guinean security forces as reasons for the delay. Organizations supporting victims such as ours have reminded him that Guinean soldiers have been arrested on other matters and swiftly condemned by his government without any reaction from the military.
  • Clearly, the government of Mr. Alpha Condé has reduced the Guinean justice to a tool of violations of human rights. The justice system is swift only against political opponents. During the reign of Mr. Condé, dozens of innocent citizens have been victims of political assassinations, tortures, loss of properties and arbitrary arrests, as well as habitat demolitions. None of these crimes has ever been investigated. This form of government exposes Guinea to all risks of political adventures.
Our organization reiterates our request: The International Criminal Court must take charge of the investigations and organize the trials of the accused; in the same way as the Sierra Leone trials. Any
delay in bringing the accused to trial is likely to undermine the United Nations standing on human rights. The 8-year laxity has emboldened state criminals in our country. It threatens the lives and the future of millions of citizens held in the grip of the successive dictatorships. Mr. Alpha Conde’s institutionalized lawlessness is a fertile ground for ethnic and religious extremists that rage in the West African region.
On this day of the eighth anniversary of the massacres, our organization reaffirms its will and the will of a large majority of Guineans to see the perpetrators of these crimes brought to justice.


The Central Commission of Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta-Djallon

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