Human Rights Groups to Guinea Gov’t: Bring in Dadis Camara for Questioning About Sept. 28, 2009 Massacre and Rapes

SEPT28BODIESCOLLECTING  BODIES OF THE DEAD, A FEW DAYS AFTER THE STATE-SPONSORED MASSACRE AND RAPES OF SEPT. 28, 2009

The International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) has issued a call for the Guinean government to bring in Capt. Dadis Camara, after he attends the funeral of his mother in N’Zerekore this Sunday, for questioning and to make a statement about the September 28, 2009 massacre and mass rapes. The Attorney General of Guinea opened a judicial inquiry into this case on February 1, 2010. The inquiry has yielded a few less-than-serious indictments and it is apparent that the Guinean government purposely stalled the investigation every step of the way – one time it stopped operations because it did not have pencils and paper.

More than any of the witnesses interviewed thus far, Camara will be able to provide the most detailed information, especially about the involvement in the September 28 crimes by civilian politicians and military leaders of the highest rank. While Camara may sweat at this turn of events, it is Conde and other members of his government that may have the most to worry about.

FIDH is joined in this call by Guinean human rights organizations –all of which are listed at the bottom.

Moussa Dadis Camara in Guinea: an opportunity for advancing the Guinean justice in the case of the massacre of September 28, 2009

Friday, April 12, 2013 5:42 p.m.

fidh On the occasion of the visit to Guinea by the former head of the Guinean government, our organizations have expressed their concern about the progress of the current investigation into the events of September 28, 2009 and called the judicial and political authorities in Guinea to ensure an independent and effective investigation, to allow for a fair trial within a reasonable time. The hearing of Camara by judges would be a strong and necessary in this direction.

The former head of the military junta in Guinea between 23 December 2008 and 3 December 2009 should go to Nzérékoré Prefecture Forest Guinea to attend the funeral of his mother, who died recently. This is the first time that the former head of state will be staying in Guinea since his evacuation to Morocco and Burkina Faso, following the assassination attempt in 2009, shortly after the events of September 28, where at least 157 people were killed after soldiers opened fire on demonstrators.
A judicial inquiry was opened by the Attorney General on February 1, 2010, to investigate crimes committed in Conakry on 28 September and following days. The three judges in charge of the investigation have heard more than 300 victims, but they charged or interviewed a handful of perpetrators, including Colonel Moussa Camara Tiegboro, charged on February 1, 2012 but still functioning openly, or Colonel Abdoulaye Cherif Diaby, former Minister of Health of the junta, charged on 13 September.
On several occasions, the judges attempted to interview Moussa Dadis Camara on the events of September 28. This is a first international interrogatory letter was issued on 5 April 2011. Unanswered, it was followed by a second request made ​​at the beginning of 2013, from which there is no answer.
If Moussa Dadis Camara has not been formally challenged by the Guinean justice to this day, the International Commission of Inquiry on Guinea had estimated in its report issued in December 2009, that “there is sufficient reason to presume direct criminal responsibility of President Moussa Dadis Camara, or command responsibility for acts that occurred in the context of the attack and the following days. “
Camara should be heard by the judges to contribute to the manifestation of the truth about the September 28 massacre.
“If the interrogatory letters were not successful so far, the Guinean justice could benefit from the presence of Moussa Dadis Camara on Guinean soil to ask questions that had been addressed when he was staying in Ouagadougou,” said Mr. Patrick Baudouin, honorary president of the FIDH and member of the group of lawyers of the victims of September 28.
“We respect the mourning for Mr. Camara and the possibility for him to attend his mother’s funeral and mourn with his family. We simply ask that justice can continue its work, so that the truth is finally known and officials judged. We also have experienced bereavement but for many of us, we have not been able to bury our loved ones, “said the father of a victim disappeared at the stadium on 28 September and not yet recovered.
Our organizations call the Guinean political and judicial authorities to take all necessary measures for the proper conduct of the proceedings and to reaffirm their commitment to ensure that violations of human rights in Guinea are now known by the court.
“It is not to precipitate a complex instruction, unprecedented for the Guinean judicial system, by its size and by the number of authors involved or civil parties formed, which could be counter-productive and lead to a botched procedure that would not be satisfactory for anyone. But it should be that education increased significantly and steadily, not to disappoint the expectations of justice for the victims and the fight against impunity in Guinea, a fundamental challenge in establishing the rule of law, “said Thierno Sow, president of the OGDH.
Our organizations also recalled that Guinea is the subject of a preliminary analysis of the International Criminal Court, opened by the Prosecutor’s Office October 15, 2009. According to the principle of complementarity enshrined in the Rome Statute, the Prosecutor’s Office may decide to open an investigation if it found a lack of willingness or ability of the Guinean justice to judge the main perpetrators of the most serious crimes committed in this country.

Background:
Moussa Dadis Camara came to power following a military coup after the death of Lansana Conté. Having pledged to hold presidential elections in which he did not participate, Mr. Camara had finally shown his intention to run, triggering a significant mobilization of civil society and opposition political parties.
Thus Sept. 28, 2009, thousands of people from all political affiliations and from many civil society organizations converged at the stadium in Conakry to protest peacefully against the possible candidacy. Once the protesters arrived at the stadium, elements of the Guinean armed forces and especially the red berets of the presidential guard entered the compound and opened fire on the crowd, killing, according to the report of the Commission of Inquiry International United Nations, at least 156 people, including a party that has still not been found. More than a hundred women were raped, hundreds injured and dozens of shops looted by the police.

http://www.fidh.org

Joint press release:

International Federation of Human Rights – FIDH

Guinean Organisation for the Defence of Human Rights – OGDH

African Assembly for the Defence of Human Rights – RADDHO Guinea

Equal rights for all – MDT

Association of victims, relatives and friends of 28 September 2009 – AVIPA

Association of Families of the Disappeared on 28 September 2009 – AFADIS

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Guinea Update 4-9: Former Junta Leader, Capt. Dadis Camara, in Morocco to Collect His Mother’s Remains, Next Stop — Guinea

DADISTOUMBALEFT:  MILITARY JUNTA LEADER, CAPT. DADIS CAMARA

ON RIGHT:  ABUBAKAR “TOUMBA” DIAKITE, CMDR., PRESIDENTIAL GUARD, who shot Camara in the head in December 2009, which Camara survived

After much drama associated with whether or not Alpha Conde would allow Camara to return to Guinea to bury his mother, who died a few days ago, we get word that Camara has left Ougadougou to go to Morocco to collect his mother’s remains and then travel to Guinea for the burial.

Camara became leader of the military junta that took over after President Lansana Conte died in 2008. It was under Camara’s watch that the September 28, 2009, massacre occurred and he is under indictment at the International Criminal Court for associated crimes against humanity. In December 2009, one of Camara’s associates shot him in the head and, although gravely wounded, he survived the attack. Whether it was a planned assassination attempt or something to simply incapacitate him is unclear, but it did achieve the objective of getting him out of Guinea and to Morocco where he was transferred for treatment. In early, 2010, Camara was transferred to Burkina Faso to remain under the watchful eye of President Blaise Compare during his convalescence. Compare’s reputation as the one responsible for the murder of his best friend and then-president, Thomas Sankara, in 1987, must have given Camara pause as he was transferred there against his will. He has been in Ougadougou ever since and was forbidden from attending his son’s funeral in August 2010.

Conde put up a fight against Camara’s return to Guinea for his mother’s funeral. Unconfirmed reports yesterday suggest that when Alpha Conde first considered Camara’s return, he decided to stop his departure from Ouagadougou, by contacting the International Criminal Court (ICC) and asking that the outstanding arrest warrant be launched to keep him in Burkina Faso.

Then Conde did an about-face, not because he realized he was in the wrong, but perhaps he saw an opportunity. Conde had his staff contact and bring in to Conakry several sages from the Forest, Dadis Camara’s home region. The sages asked that Conde allow Camara to return for his mother’s funeral. Conde agreed, in response to the sages’ requests, not Camara’s. Why is Conde so tense about Camara’s return, but is now allowing it? He says it’s because Camara presence in the country could result in social upheaval. The real fear, though, is that Camara will talk about a lot of things that Conde, and others, wish he would not. Conde’s about-face may signal that he has better control over what happens to Camara while he is on Guinean soil.

While Camara is viewed as responsible for the September 28, 2009 massacre, there are high-level politicians and military officials who Camara will implicate given the opportunity. Camara is not about to take the whole rap himself. Sooner or later, Dadis will tell all about connections which Konate and Conde have to the September 28, 2009, massacre. Further, he will likely implicate both in the plot to assassinate him in December 2009. Perhaps, Conde’s calling in the ICC on Camara, didn’t seem like such a good idea after all. Who knows, maybe the head prosecutor has already opened a file on Conde.

Capt. Dadis Camara left Ouagadougou last night and is in Casablanca, Morocco now. He will lay his mother to rest this Sunday.

STAY TUNED . . .

News Flash: Captain Dadis Camara leaves Ouagadougou to go to collect the remains of his mother in Morocco

(Google translation to English)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 1:16 p.m.

Three years after his arrival in Ouagadougou the capital of Burkina Faso, Captain Dadis Camara has left his place of confinement for Morocco to collect the remains of his mother died a few days earlier.

Corroborating sources, the successor to Conté chartered a flight with a handful of close relatives and guards to Morocco where it will take another flight to N’zérékoré by going through the Guinean capital Conakry or the Liberian capital Monrovia.

It is a sigh of relief to see that Dadis Camara her mother before she was last home join in his native village Koulet, a village in the prefecture of N’zérékoré.

We will return in more detail on this information in future editions.

Aly Soumah www.guinee58.com , Conakry

Guinea Update 4-4: Lawyers File to Send Conde to ICC for Crimes Against Humanity, Conde Denies Dadis Camara Return to Bury Mother, Former Conde Supporter Tells All (VIDEO-FR), and Telliano Badgered in Court

French attorneys file complaint against Alpha Conde to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity

Based on information from: guineeactu.com, aminata.com, and guinee58.com

A group of Guineans have obtained the services of two French lawyers of the Paris Bar to file a complaint against Alpha Conde for crimes against humanity associated with brutal repression during and after the February 27, 2013 opposition march.

The lawyers are Houcine Bardi and Damien Ayrole and in their complaint they say:

“Facts of crimes against humanity following the brutal repression that has befallen the population at peaceful demonstrations in February 2013, which caused many casualties among the civilian population.”

Here is a link to the document filed (in Frnech) by the attorneys, Plainte contre Alpha Condé au TPI

STAY TUNED . . .

Alpha Conde Bars Guinea’s Military Junta Leader from Attending His Mother’s Funeral in Guinea

From guinee58.com (translated via Google with editing by Guinea Oye)

Thursday, April 4, 2013 5:27

dadis_ouaga It is a real thunderbolt that has descended on the sages of the coordination of the forest for several days leading negotiations for the presence of Captain Dadis Camara at the funeral of his mother whose death was announced yesterday after afternoon.

We told you in our previous editions that the mother of the former strongman of the CNDD died at the age of 103 years. When Camara expressed his desire to attend the funeral, the people of the Forecst spared no effort. People were appointed to approach Alpha Conde about granting Camara entrance into Guinea so he could bury his mother, hoping, that due to the circumstances, Conde would grant the trip.

“Rather, we ran up against a wall. He told us that the presence of Dadis Camara would cause public disorder “reveals this group. “This is unacceptable to prevent someone in this case, Dadis Camara, to attend the funeral of his mother.” The Professor Alpha Condé, is he afraid of the unwavering popularity for Camara that can be found in military garrisons?

Other sources reported the involvement of several heads of states of the subregion who pleaded the cause of Captain Dadis Camara so he could accompany his mother to her final resting place. But until we dispatch this line, the position of President Alpha Conde has not changed one iota. From the beginning, his answer was always “no” and it has not changed.

Of this refusal, President Alpha Condé shows his contempt of Guineans. This illustrates once again that his word is based only on the wind and we should not trust him.

To be continued …

Aly Soumah www.guinee58.com , Conakry

Former Supporter of Alpha Conde’s Tells All

From guinea58.com (translate via Google with editing by Guinea Oye)

Repentance of a former militant Alpha Conde

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013 7:42 p.m.

alpha_kourouma Rare enough are those to be noted as Conde supporters are experts in the art of disguising the truth. Mr. Alpha Kourouma delivers a poignant frightening look at life in the RPG. Mr. Kourouma is a former supporter of Alpha Condé who is disillusioned like thousands of Guineans. He owns his past and proudly claims rallying to the opposition.

Without jargon, Mr. Kourouma describes the dictatorial regime of Alpha Condé. In crude terms, he portrayed the character of tribal politics Alpha Condé. He tells very informative stories about the shameful practices of Conde’s administration, including appointment to positions based on ethnicity in Conakry. According to Mr. Kourouma, Guineans are dismissed from the administration because of their ethnicity and others are recruited because they are of President Alpha Condé’s ethnic group, Malinke. He witnessed the dismissals of young Soussous and Peulhs to allow the recruitment of young Malinkés.

Driven by his patriotic conscience, Mr. Kourouma eventually resigned for not endorsing the dictatorship of Alpha Condé.

Alpha Kourouma urged Guineans to refuse the division and the instrumentalization of ethnicity.

Below is a video of his statement (in French):

Jean Marc Telliano’s “Theatre of the Absurd” Day in Court

Based on guineelibre.com article

Telliano appeared in court on Tuesday morning and two leaders of the opposition were there to support him, Cellou Dalein Diallo and Mouctar Diallo. Some opposition supporters gathered outside the court, but security dispersed them. Telliano was charged with “insulting the president,” something that after two years with Alpha Conde as president, well over half the population could be charged with.

In case “insulting the president” didn’t carry enough weight to get him locked up an embezzlement charge was thrown in.

You may recall that Telliano made statements at the February 27 opposition march that cut a little too close to the bone for Conde. Telliano said he would like Conde to show the graves of his parents in Guinea, but knows he can’t because his parents are of burkinabe and senegalo-malienne origin. What he was referring to is that Conde has little tie to Guinea or its people because of his parents origins. And there is the fact that Conde spent 59 years in France.

After the trial Cellou Diallo shared his impressions:

We came to show our solidarity with Jean Marc Telliano . Nobody denies that the President of the Republic of Guinean is a citizen with all the rights. He was elected as a Guinean citizen, but everyone knows that he has origins in Burkina Faso. This is not an insult, it’s not an insult, it is a reality and no part of it taints his honor or dignity “

“So, on this basis, we can not call, try and convict Jean Marc Telliano. It is in the context of a political rally he recalled these facts, which are facts and do not constitute any breach of honor or dignity of any person.”

Telliano’s lawyer said that he was questioned for hours at the court in Mafanco and that he was supposed to return today for more.

Sixth Anniversary of 1/22/07, Massacre in Guinea: One of Many State Crimes Not Prosecuted and No Pressure from International Community to Do So (VIDEO)

The following video chronicles a horrible massacre which took place on January 22, 2007, when hundreds of peaceful, unarmed demonstrators were summarily executed by Guinean troops, supplemented with troops from Guinea-Bissau.

The goal of the demonstration was to protest Guinea’s appalling economic conditions and consisted of many union leaders and members who, along with others, were in opposition to the policies of the government of Lansana Conte.

Time after time, Guineans have witnessed how their unpopular governments, at odds with the people, have resorted to mass murder in an attempt to extinguish dissent. Another horrible massacre took place on September 28, 2009, when Guineans marched in opposition to the military junta of Dadis Camara. As in the case of the 2007 massacre, hundreds killed, thousands injured and hundreds of women raped.

No serious government investigation has been conducted regarding either massacre. With the longstanding and pervasive atmosphere of impunity in Guinea, this is not surprising. Further, it seems illogical to have the perpetrators of state violence, and those who commanded them, investigating themselves.

Guinean eyes turned to the international community to apply pressure on international criminal tribunals to prosecute crimes the Government of Guinea steadfastly ignored. The less than enthusiastic response from the international community said it all. It could not provide moral leadership in this case because any prosecution of state military perpetrators would upset a delicate apple cart that would spill into a military coup, sending international investors running fast and far away from Guinea. Essentially, the people of Guinea were betrayed and left in a state of “no justice, no peace.” If interested in reading more about this topic, please see “Preventive Diplomacy:  The International Community’s Betrayal of the People of Guinea”

POTTAL-FII-BHANTAL FOUTAH-DJALLON USA: Massacre of September 28th, 2009. Three Years of Impunity!

MEMORANDUM OF POTTAL-FII-BHANTAL FOUTA-DJALlON

MASSACRE OF SEPTEMBER 28th, 2009.  THREE YEARS OF IMPUNITY!

Three years after the military junta-sponsored massacre at the opposition rally in Guinea in which victims were ethnically targeted, nearly 200 people were brutally murdered and at least 100 women were viciously raped in broad daylight, we are gathered here, at the United Nations Plaza, once again. We could easily read aloud the statement we produced last year because no progress has been made in holding accountable those who are accused of these crimes. This lack of progress is due to the impunity exercised within the government of Alpha Conde.

Much to the shock of Guineans and human rights groups, Mr. Conde protects and rewards the military officers accused of the crimes by appointing two of the primary perpetrators to his cabinet. Further, neither ECOWAS nor the Guinean government has taken a deposition from the primary mastermind of the massacre, Capt. Dadis Camara, now living in Burkina Faso. It is becoming more and more obvious that the Guinean government is determined not to prosecute the September 28 crimes. Given that Guinea has clearly demonstrated that it is unwilling and unable to prosecute the case, help from the international community is needed to get the case transferred to the International Criminal Court as soon as possible.

Justice delayed is justice denied. Justice for victims of the September 28 massacres is our primary goal. At the same time we must work to ensure that the people of Guinea never experience such a travesty again. While Mr. Alpha Conde was not at the helm when the September 28 massacre took place, his refusal to investigate and prosecute those responsible is only one example of the impunity with which he governs. This impunity, combined with undemocratic practices and ethnically-based policies, has resulted in illegal mass arrests, indefinite incarcerations, torture and extra-judicial killings. The dangers posed by Alpha Conde are on par to that of the military junta which committed the massacre.

The threat of genocide in Guinea is palpable. Genocide does not happen overnight. It builds up over a long period, with social exclusion, ethnic militia and paramilitary forces, political stalemate and pervasive corruption in a climate of economic hardships. All these conditions are at work in Guinea, silently gripping our country. No nations, no international institutions could claim ignorance about the ominous future that Guinea faces. Short of drastic and proactive measures, the country will continue its slide toward chaos, threatening, in the process, the stability of the whole West-Africa.

Today, we want to use this solemn occasion to put the Guinean government on notice that we WILL get justice for the victims and, in order to prevent another massacre, we will continue the pressure on Mr. Alpha Conde and his administration with intensity.

For the last 3 years, Pottal-Fii-Bhantal has worked relentlessly toward that end. Through our work, we have enjoyed tremendous support from Guinean citizens who, more than ever, are aware of the necessity of eradicating impunity if Guinea is to pull herself out of a legacy of totalitarian and military rule.

Today is an opportunity to remind all of us that there is no nobler fight than setting our country on the path of justice as a prerequisite for democracy. We are encouraged that Guinean citizens of all walks of life, ethnic backgrounds and political opinions are mobilized to honor the victims by pledging to never give up the fight to ensure that those responsible are prosecuted. We have been also honored by the benevolent support of activists, civil right leaders, civil servants of foreign governments as well as staff of international human rights and development agencies. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts in the name of the voiceless victims and their families in Guinea and around the world.

Pottal-Fii-Bhantal is calling on all segments of the Guinean population to mobilize in order avert the dangerous prospects hanging over our country. We encourage Guineans citizens to pursue all legal means of opposing a new dictatorship in our country. We are calling on the international community not look the other way, as it has done in last 50 years, while a tragedy is being prepared in our country. Given Guinea’s political legacy, the involvement of the international community is crucial for the country to be a true “emerging democracy”.

As we did last year, Pottal Fii-Bhantal is calling on all constituencies interested in building justice as a foundation for a genuine democracy in Guinea, to unite around the crucial program of fighting impunity and continue the pressures on the Guinean authorities.

To those who are living with the scars of the violence inflicted upon them, we are ensuring our unwavering support. We pray to All Mighty God to have mercy on the souls of those who have lost their lives for the emergence of democracy in Guinea.

Three years after the military junta-sponsored massacre at the opposition rally in Guinea in which victims were ethnically targeted, nearly 200 people were brutally murdered and at least 100 women were viciously raped in broad daylight, we are gathered here, at the United Nations Plaza, once again. We could easily read aloud the statement we produced last year because no progress has been made in holding accountable those who are accused of these crimes. This lack of progress is due to the impunity exercised within the government of Alpha Conde.

Much to the shock of Guineans and human rights groups, Mr. Conde protects and rewards the military officers accused of the crimes by appointing two of the primary perpetrators to his cabinet. Further, neither ECOWAS nor the Guinean government has taken a deposition from the primary mastermind of the massacre, Capt. Dadis Camara, now living in Burkina Faso. It is becoming more and more obvious that the Guinean government is determined not to prosecute the September 28 crimes. Given that Guinea has clearly demonstrated that it is unwilling and unable to prosecute the case, help from the international community is needed to get the case transferred to the International Criminal Court as soon as possible.

Justice delayed is justice denied. Justice for victims of the September 28 massacres is our primary goal. At the same time we must work to ensure that the people of Guinea never experience such a travesty again. While Mr. Alpha Conde was not at the helm when the September 28 massacre took place, his refusal to investigate and prosecute those responsible is only one example of the impunity with which he governs. This impunity, combined with undemocratic practices and ethnically-based policies, has resulted in illegal mass arrests, indefinite incarcerations, torture and extra-judicial killings. The dangers posed by Alpha Conde are on par to that of the military junta which committed the massacre.

The threat of genocide in Guinea is palpable. Genocide does not happen overnight. It builds up over a long period, with social exclusion, ethnic militia and paramilitary forces, political stalemate and pervasive corruption in a climate of economic hardships. All these conditions are at work in Guinea, silently gripping our country. No nations, no international institutions could claim ignorance about the ominous future that Guinea faces. Short of drastic and proactive measures, the country will continue its slide toward chaos, threatening, in the process, the stability of the whole West-Africa.

Today, we want to use this solemn occasion to put the Guinean government on notice that we WILL get justice for the victims and, in order to prevent another massacre, we will continue the pressure on Mr. Alpha Conde and his administration with intensity.

For the last 3 years, Pottal-Fii-Bhantal has worked relentlessly toward that end. Through our work, we have enjoyed tremendous support from Guinean citizens who, more than ever, are aware of the necessity of eradicating impunity if Guinea is to pull herself out of a legacy of totalitarian and military rule.

Today is an opportunity to remind all of us that there is no nobler fight than setting our country on the path of justice as a prerequisite for democracy. We are encouraged that Guinean citizens of all walks of life, ethnic backgrounds and political opinions are mobilized to honor the victims by pledging to never give up the fight to ensure that those responsible are prosecuted. We have been also honored by the benevolent support of activists, civil right leaders, civil servants of foreign governments as well as staff of international human rights and development agencies. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts in the name of the voiceless victims and their families in Guinea and around the world.

Pottal-Fii-Bhantal is calling on all segments of the Guinean population to mobilize in order avert the dangerous prospects hanging over our country. We encourage Guineans citizens to pursue all legal means of opposing a new dictatorship in our country. We are calling on the international community not look the other way, as it has done in last 50 years, while a tragedy is being prepared in our country. Given Guinea’s political legacy, the involvement of the international community is crucial for the country to be a true “emerging democracy”.

As we did last year, Pottal Fii-Bhantal is calling on all constituencies interested in building justice as a foundation for a genuine democracy in Guinea, to unite around the crucial program of fighting impunity and continue the pressures on the Guinean authorities.

To those who are living with the scars of the violence inflicted upon them, we are ensuring our unwavering support. We pray to All Mighty God to have mercy on the souls of those who have lost their lives for the emergence of democracy in Guinea.

Three years after the military junta-sponsored massacre at the opposition rally in Guinea in which victims were ethnically targeted, nearly 200 people were brutally murdered and at least 100 women were viciously raped in broad daylight, we are gathered here, at the United Nations Plaza, once again. We could easily read aloud the statement we produced last year because no progress has been made in holding accountable those who are accused of these crimes. This lack of progress is due to the impunity exercised within the government of Alpha Conde.

Much to the shock of Guineans and human rights groups, Mr. Conde protects and rewards the military officers accused of the crimes by appointing two of the primary perpetrators to his cabinet. Further, neither ECOWAS nor the Guinean government has taken a deposition from the primary mastermind of the massacre, Capt. Dadis Camara, now living in Burkina Faso. It is becoming more and more obvious that the Guinean government is determined not to prosecute the September 28 crimes. Given that Guinea has clearly demonstrated that it is unwilling and unable to prosecute the case, help from the international community is needed to get the case transferred to the International Criminal Court as soon as possible.

Justice delayed is justice denied. Justice for victims of the September 28 massacres is our primary goal. At the same time we must work to ensure that the people of Guinea never experience such a travesty again. While Mr. Alpha Conde was not at the helm when the September 28 massacre took place, his refusal to investigate and prosecute those responsible is only one example of the impunity with which he governs. This impunity, combined with undemocratic practices and ethnically-based policies, has resulted in illegal mass arrests, indefinite incarcerations, torture and extra-judicial killings. The dangers posed by Alpha Conde are on par to that of the military junta which committed the massacre.

The threat of genocide in Guinea is palpable. Genocide does not happen overnight. It builds up over a long period, with social exclusion, ethnic militia and paramilitary forces, political stalemate and pervasive corruption in a climate of economic hardships. All these conditions are at work in Guinea, silently gripping our country. No nations, no international institutions could claim ignorance about the ominous future that Guinea faces. Short of drastic and proactive measures, the country will continue its slide toward chaos, threatening, in the process, the stability of the whole West-Africa.

Today, we want to use this solemn occasion to put the Guinean government on notice that we WILL get justice for the victims and, in order to prevent another massacre, we will continue the pressure on Mr. Alpha Conde and his administration with intensity.

For the last 3 years, Pottal-Fii-Bhantal has worked relentlessly toward that end. Through our work, we have enjoyed tremendous support from Guinean citizens who, more than ever, are aware of the necessity of eradicating impunity if Guinea is to pull herself out of a legacy of totalitarian and military rule.

Today is an opportunity to remind all of us that there is no nobler fight than setting our country on the path of justice as a prerequisite for democracy. We are encouraged that Guinean citizens of all walks of life, ethnic backgrounds and political opinions are mobilized to honor the victims by pledging to never give up the fight to ensure that those responsible are prosecuted. We have been also honored by the benevolent support of activists, civil right leaders, civil servants of foreign governments as well as staff of international human rights and development agencies. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts in the name of the voiceless victims and their families in Guinea and around the world.

Pottal-Fii-Bhantal is calling on all segments of the Guinean population to mobilize in order avert the dangerous prospects hanging over our country. We encourage Guineans citizens to pursue all legal means of opposing a new dictatorship in our country. We are calling on the international community not look the other way, as it has done in last 50 years, while a tragedy is being prepared in our country. Given Guinea’s political legacy, the involvement of the international community is crucial for the country to be a true “emerging democracy”.

As we did last year, Pottal Fii-Bhantal is calling on all constituencies interested in building justice as a foundation for a genuine democracy in Guinea, to unite around the crucial program of fighting impunity and continue the pressures on the Guinean authorities.

To those who are living with the scars of the violence inflicted upon them, we are ensuring our unwavering support. We pray to All Mighty God to have mercy on the souls of those who have lost their lives for the emergence of democracy in Guinea.

The Board of Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta-Djallon – USA

Fatou Bensouda to be ICC Top Prosecutor: Let’s Hope Indictments of Those Responsible for Sept. 28 Massacre are on Her “To Do” List

Sept. 28 — Lining up the dead

Fatou Bensouda, as the ICC ‘s Deputy Prosecutor, was the primary investigator on the Sept. 28, 2009 state-sponsored massacre of unarmed Guinean opposition members.  Over 150 people were killed, over 1,000 were injured, and over 100 women were brutally raped.  While investigating the incident, Bensouda stated that crimes against humanity had been committed.

But, suddenly, by mid-2010, the case went cold.  Unfortunately, the international community, frantic to have Guinea hold a presidential election in 2010, used the threat of ICC indictments to make sure the junta leader,  Dadis Camara, would not be inclined to return to Guinea to lead the military.  Actually, it was circumstances independent of the ICC (getting shot in the head, recuperation in Morocco, and a trip to Burkina Faso which became permanent) that keep Camara out of Guinea to this day.  But, an equally big concern for the international community loomed — Guinea’s 50,000 soldier military.  ICC indictments against soldiers responsible for the criminal acts of Sept. 28, could easily spin the military into a nation-wide revolt.  Such a turn of events could delay the 2010 election or cause it not to be held at all.  With Guinea’s legislative elections still ahead, the ICC investigation is likely to remain dormant for a while longer.

As a woman, as an African, as an investigator of Sept. 28, and now as the world’s top prosecutor, Ms. Bensouda knows that the hell visited upon the people of Guinea on Sept. 28 can only be addressed in a court proceeding. Hopefully, she will move the Guinean massacre higher up on her list, that is, if the international community doesn’t intervene yet again.

If interested in reading more about the international community’s interference in the ICC investigation of Sept. 28, please go to:  Preventive Diplomacy:  The International Community’s Betrayal of the People of Guinea

Gambia’s Bensouda slated to be ICC prosecutor: envoy

Thu Dec 1, 2011 5:47am GMT

By Patrick Worsnip

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Fatou Bensouda of Gambia has emerged as the consensus candidate for the high-profile job of chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, a diplomat at the center of the selection process said on Wednesday.

Bensouda, 50, is deputy to the current chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo of Argentina, whose term ends next year.

An informal meeting of ICC members will be held in New York on Thursday to discuss the appointment, said Liechtenstein’s U.N. Ambassador Christian Wenaweser, president of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the Rome Statute that set up the court.

“I will recommend to the meeting that, based on my consultations, we go forward with a single candidate, Fatou Bensouda,” Wenaweser told Reuters by telephone.

The appointment will be made at a formal session of the 118-nation ASP in New York on December 12, Wenaweser said.

Bensouda was named deputy prosecutor of the Hague-based ICC in 2004 and previously worked as a legal adviser and trial attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania.

She has long been regarded as the favorite to take over from Moreno-Ocampo, particularly at a time when the ICC’s cases are largely focused on Africa.

She was one of four candidates short-listed by a search committee last month to replace Moreno-Ocampo as chief prosecutor of the world’s top war crimes court.

AFRICAN SOUGHT

The others were Britain’s Andrew Cayley, international co-prosecutor in the U.N.-backed court trying former Khmer Rouge leaders in Cambodia, Mohamed Chande Othman, Chief Justice of Tanzania, and Robert Petit, a war crimes counsel in Canada’s Department of Justice.

Wenaweser told an ASP working group last week there was a “pervasive sentiment” among ICC members that the next chief prosecutor should be an African and that Cayley and Petit had been told they were no longer being considered.

A U.N. diplomat who asked not to be identified said he understood Othman had subsequently withdrawn his candidacy.

The tough-talking Moreno-Ocampo has won praise for his role in promoting the work of the ICC. He has launched seven formal investigations, issued an arrest warrant for Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir and begun three trials.

The ICC earlier this year indicted then Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi — since killed — as well as his son Saif al-Islam and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi. Moreno-Ocampo said last week, however, that he would not demand that the captured Saif al-Islam be handed over to The Hague.

In the latest development involving the ICC, former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo was flown on Tuesday night to The Hague to face charges of crimes against humanity.

Some African politicians have accused Moreno-Ocampo of pursuing only Africans. He has also been criticized over the ICC’s slow progress and for failing to bring a larger number of senior government officials to trial for various atrocities.

“Preventive Diplomacy:” The International Community’s Betrayal of the People of Guinea


Kadiatou Barry, 22, holds a photograph of her missing husband Alpha Oumar Diallo in Conakry October 4, 2009. Barry says her husband has been missing since the September 28 crackdown on opposition protesters.

“PREVENTIVE DIPLOMACY:”  The International Community’s Betrayal of the People of Guinea

In the following article, UN Secretary-General Ban ki-moon recommends “preventive diplomacy” be applied more widely throughout the world. Through early warning systems and skilled interventions, preventive diplomacy improves the probability that diplomats will be able to pre-empt conflicts that might erupt within countries. One of the many “successes” of preventive diplomacy cited in the article is the 2010 presidential election in Guinea. Guineans might say that if this is what “preventive diplomacy” gets you, no thanks.

Regardless of what you call it, the international community has been using this manner of diplomacy for a long time and the goal has always been the same – to establish or preserve an atmosphere of peace and calm for the purpose of attracting and maintaining business investments. In the case of Guinea, the international community was particularly panicked about the possibility of a military uprising and its potential to scare away investors. As we shall see, in its determination to hold the 2010 election come hell or high water and to maintain a peaceful appearance for business investment, the international community made tragic trade-offs which were not its to make and Guineans will have to live with the negative consequences for years to come.

Brutal regimes often use violent and deadly tactics to repress populations in order to maintain calm. While a thin veneer of peace is shown to the world, most of these countries sit on powder kegs. Often, the international community looks the other way as these regimes commit human rights abuses and hold fraudulent elections. Over the past two years, the people of Guinea have known both of these injustices.

The first of these is the tragedy of September 28, 2009, in which unarmed opposition protesters, mostly of Peuhl ethnicity, were the victims of a pre-meditated, state-sponsored massacre by the Guinean military and foreign mercenaries. Over 200 were murdered, 1,200 were injured, and at least 100 women were viciously raped. An investigation by the International Criminal Court was initiated swiftly, but as we shall see, duplicitous dealings by the international community shut the investigation down.

In 2010, Guineans, mostly Peuhl, were the target of election-related violence which left many dead, women raped, homes burned, and livelihoods destroyed. Both the state and supporters of presidential candidate Alpha Conde collaborated in this violent plot to intimidate and disenfranchise Peuhls in the presidential election.

The election itself, much heralded by the international community, was nothing short of a sham involving massive fraud orchestrated by an operative of Conde’s, Lounceny Camara, who sat on the country’s electoral commission. Camara tampered with the vote tally in order to deny Cellou Dalein Diallo a first round victory. He committed more fraud in the second round paving the way for an Alpha Conde “win.” In the first round, in which Diallo ran against several candidates, real figures show that Diallo garnered approximately 53% of the vote. In the end, millions of Guineans cast ballots that were never counted, resulting in wholesale disenfranchisement of the voting population. Conde may be the head of state, but he arrives at Sekoutoureya Palace without a mandate to govern. This election should have been nullified and the international community should have led the way. Continue reading ““Preventive Diplomacy:” The International Community’s Betrayal of the People of Guinea”