Going to the Hague: Today, Kenya — Guinea Should Be Next (Slides of 9/28/09)
Guinea Morgue filled with victims of the September 8, 2009, massacre
Today began with an announcement from head prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, that indictments are to be issued for Kenyans (private citizens and public officials) involved in the horrific post-election violence in 2007 in which 1,100 people were killed and over 1,000 women were raped.
Hopefully, we will hear from Mr. Moreno-Ocampo soon regarding indictments of Guineans associated with the September 28, 2009 state-sponsored massacre and rape of unarmed opposition demonstrators, largely Peuls, in a Conakry stadium. As we know from Wikileaks cables, the US, France, and Morocco wanted ICC indictments against former military junta leader, Dadis Camara, and others put on the slow track fearing indictments might casue unrest in the military. The West wanted a civilian government in Guinea and a calm military — Sekouba Konate was their man for both. As long as the military was not engaged in coups or destabilizing, the West was willing to look the other way while the Guinean election was mired in massive fraud by Conde’s campaign (the transitional government provided Conde financial and logistical support) and ethnic cleansing of Peuls meted out by state security forces. The West was silent when the Supreme Court selected the loser, Alpha Conde, as the winner.
With the selection of Alpha Conde to serve as president, the West likely wants a further delay of ICC indictments to give the new administration time to settle in. But, the West would be wise not to roll the dice on this issue again. On September 28, 2009, Guinea witnessed the debut of modern-day ethnic cleansing of Peuls and, after 15 months without indictments, unpunished impunity of the government and the military reigns and the commitment to ethnic cleansing of Peuls is stronger than ever. Added to the murders and rapes of 2009, the ethnic cleansing plan entails additional themes which were featured in 2010 and include displacement, disenfranchisement, and destruction of homes and businesses and ominous utterances from Alpha Conde, himself, about Peul businessmen being at the root of all evil. The worst is yet to come and the people of Guinea cannot wait for a reform of the military nor a new administration before they receive justice. A clear stand against impunity is needed and ICC indictments would be a good start. No diplomat wants to be asked: “And, where were you when all this ethnic cleansing began in Guinea and why didn’t you try to stop it?”
For those of you who may not have seen pictures from September 28, 2009, please click below: