Daddis presidential bid – Letter from Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta Djallon to Mrs. Fatou Bensouda (EN-FR)

Daddis presidential bid – Letter from Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta Djallon to Mrs. Fatou Bensouda.
New York, May 29, 2015
Dear Madam Bensouda,
Following the announcement of the candidacy of Mr. Daddis Camara in the presidential elections of Guinea, a coalition of 29 Human Rights organizations, including the FIDH and OGDH, made a statement to mark their indignation on this inappropriate bid which is a sign of contempt to the judicial process and to victims of the massacres of 28 September 2009.
On many occasions – by online petitions, memoranda and letters – our organization and many victims have called on you to request the transfer of the 2009 crimes against humanity’ investigation to the International Court of Justice. We’ve regularly kept you informed of the actions and statements of the Guinean government’s obvious denial of justice to the victims. On October 25th, 2014, in a speech in the Soussou language given in the Loos Islands, the Guinean President admitted having asked the “white folks” to put an end to the investigations. That same month, the justice minister, accused those who want that judicial proceedings to be expedited of having hidden political motives.
The culture of impunity is not only a legacy of past state violence in Guinea. It has become a method of governance. With the approach of presidential elections, the Guinean president wants to use the 2009 crimes to sow discord among the Guinean communities. The staging of demonstrations in the town of Nzerekore and the appointment in the government of a supposed ally of Mr. Daddis Camara, Mr. Boubacar Barry, are part of his plans. In addition, the authorities spread rumors of rebellion in the region from alleged accomplices of Mr. Daddis. A concerted effort is being made by the government to entertain the fiction of Mr. Daddis Camara political stature behind which Guinean citizens native of the Forest region would identify. The campaign is an insult to the Guineans from the southern region of Guinea who are strongly opposed to human rights violations which they have always been victims of. The governance by impunity introduced by the Guinean president has made ethnicity a screen to hide grave crimes. The goal – for the purposes of electoral maneuvering – is to make all denunciations of the crimes committed by the CNDD, an attack against local residents. These amalgams have served as cover for state crimes in Guinea and are the framework of perpetuating impunity.
Our organization and the associations of the victims believe that all conditions are met for your intervention. Since the charges made on a few officers in 2012, the Guinean judges in charge of the September 2009 crimes case have made no progress. This laxity is unacceptable. One of its consequences is to have enabled the Guinean government to inject in the electoral process an officer charged of crimes against humanity. Faced with this evident obstruction of justice of the Guinean government, it is the duty of the I.C.C to take up the issue of the killings. The Guinean populations and victims put their hope in your institution of last resort to begin the eradication of impunity in our country. This eradication is the only way to counter the confrontations the government of Mr. Conde has prepared with his policy of political division and legal laxity.
We remain available should you need any further information.
Respectfully,
COMMISSION FOR THE CENTRAL POTTAL-FII-BHANTAL FOUTA-DJALLON

 

Candidature présidentielle de Daddis – Lettre de Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta-Djallon à Madame Fatou Bensouda.
New York, le 29 Mai 2015
Chère Madame Bensouda,
Suite à l’annonce de la candidature de Mr. Daddis Camara aux élections présidentielles de la Guinée, une coalition de 29 organisations de défense des droits de l’homme incluant le FIDH et l’OGDH, a fait une déclaration pour marquer leur indignation sur cette candidature inopportune qui est un signe de mépris du processus judiciaire et aux victimes des massacres du 28 septembre 2009.
A maintes occasions – par pétitions en ligne, mémorandums et lettres – notre organisation ainsi que de nombreuses victimes vous ont interpellée pour demander le transfert des enquêtes sur les crimes de 2009 à la cour internationale de justice. Nous vous avons régulièrement tenue informée des actions et des propos de déni évident de justice aux victimes des crimes contre l’humanité de 2009 du gouvernement guinéen. En date du 25 octobre 2014, dans un discours en langue Soussou aux îles de Loos, le président guinéen a avoué avoir demandé aux « blancs » de mette fin aux enquêtes sur les massacres. Ce même mois, le ministre de la justice, accusa ceux qui veulent que les procédures judiciaires soient accélérées d’avoir des arrière-pensées politiques.
La culture de l’impunité ne procède pas seulement du passé de violence d’état en Guinée. Elle est devenue une méthode de gouvernance. À l’approche des élections présidentielles, le chef de l’état guinéen veut faire des crimes de 2009 un moyen de discorde entre les communautés guinéennes. Les montages de manifestations dans la ville de Nzérékoré et la nomination dans le gouvernement d’un supposé allié de Mr. Daddis Camara, Mr. Boubacar Barry, font partie de ses plans. En outre, les autorités répandent des rumeurs de rébellion dans la région par des prétendus affidés de Mr. Daddis. Cette campagne est faite pour entretenir l’illusion d’une stature politique de Mr. Daddis Camara derrière laquelle les guinéens originaire de la région de la Forêt se reconnaitraient. En soi, elle est une insulte aux guinéens de la région du Sud de la Guinée qui restent fermement opposés aux violations de droits de l’homme dont ils ont été toujours victimes. La gouvernance par l’impunité instaurée par le président guinéen a fait de l’appartenance ethnique un paravent pour des crimes imprescriptibles. Le but visé est de faire – à des fins de marchandages électoraux – de toutes dénonciations des crimes commis par le CNDD, une atteinte aux habitants de la région. Ces amalgames sont la couverture aux crimes d’état en Guinée et le cadre de perpétuation de l’impunité.
Notre organisation et les associations des victimes considèrent que toutes les conditions sont remplies pour une intervention de votre part. Depuis les inculpations de quelques officiers en 2012, les juges guinéens en charge du dossier des crimes de Septembre 2009 n’ont fait aucun progrès. Ce laxisme est inacceptable. L’une de ses conséquences est d’avoir permis au gouvernement guinéen d’injecter un accusé de crimes contre l’humanité dans le processus électoral. Face à cette obstruction manifeste de la justice du gouvernement guinéen, il est du devoir de la CPI de se saisir du dossier des massacres. Les populations guinéennes et les victimes placent leur espoir en votre institution de derniers recours pour entamer l’éradication de l’impunité dans notre pays. Cette éradication reste le seul moyen pour contrer les affrontements dont le gouvernement de Mr. Condé a préparé les conditions de par ses politiques de division et de laxisme juridique.
Nous restons à votre disposition pour toute information complémentaire et vos prions de croire à nos sentiments distingués

Pour la commission centrale de Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta-Djalon

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HR Groups, FIDH-OGDH Call Charge of Claude Pivi For Sept. 28 Crimes, “A Big Step for Guinean Justice”

claudepivi1Claude Pivi, in Battle Dress

Guineastadium9-28-09, Opposition supporters gathered for a rally at stadium when state security accompanied by foreign mercenaries closed exits and began shooting, stabbing and raping

[Article translated into English via Google with editing by Guinea Oye]
Posted on June 28, 2013

Paris, Conakry, June 28, 2013 – Colonel Claude Pivi, head of presidential security, was formally charged yesterday by the judges in charge of the case on 28 September 2009. The day before, the General Ibrahima Balde, High Commander of the Gendarmerie was heard as a witness. Our organizations welcome this judicial advanced as expected by the civil parties than important for the judicial process and the Guinean justice.

The three judges assigned to investigate, since 1 February 2010, the case of September 28, indicted Colonel Claude Pivi for his role in the events at the stadium in Conakry, where at least 157 people were killed, and hundreds of women were raped. Mr. Pivi must now be heard on its merits, starting next week.

“Since the beginning of the investigation, the victims we assist in this procedure Claude Pivi feared that, due to his duties and his place in the military hierarchy, to escape justice. Yesterday, the judges have made a first response formally charging them. Mr. Pivi is innocent and he will now be able to prepare his defense, but it’s a first victory for the plaintiffs and more broadly in the fight against impunity in Guinea, “said Thierno Sow, president of the OGDH .

Claude Pivi was appointed Minister of Presidential Security by Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, head of the military junta in Guinea between December 2008 and January 2010. Since then it has been kept at the head of this elite unit, he still heads today. According to the report of the International Commission of Inquiry set up after the fact, Mr. Claude Pivi was among those who “could be held criminally responsible for their involvement in the events of September 28 and the following days.”

GUINEA16In the days after the massacre at the stadium, Guineans search for dead relatives

Our organizations, a civil action in this case, the judges have sent items including sending the presence and potential liability of Mr. Pivi in ​​fact a very serious near the stadium and in various districts of Conakry, in the day September 28 and the days that followed.

FIDH OGDH the AVIPA and AFADIS who met the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague in May 2013 had expressed concern at some sluggishness in the judicial system, and relayed the growing impatience of the victims, nearly 4 years after the fact. The International Criminal Court, which placed the preliminary analysis in Guinea after the events of the stadium, led an eighth mission in Conakry in early June to assess the progress of the investigation and make recommendations.

“This case is an opportunity for the Guinean court to try those responsible for serious violations of human rights. The Guinea must seize this opportunity to restore victims’ rights and to strengthen a judicial system which has suffered from arbitrary decisions for five decades, “said Mr. Drissa Traoré, Vice-President of FIDH.

However, our organizations have expressed concern about the serenity of the judicial process and the safety of its participants or victims who testified in this case, because of the position held by Mr. Pivi today as Minister of Presidential Security. As our organizations had recommended for Colonel Moussa Tiegboro Oumar Camara, indicted in February 2012, or the commanding Sekou Resco Camara, Governor of Conakry, charged in a case of torture in February 2013, both of which have been maintained their government positions, we recommend that stakeholders take all steps to ensure the independence and impartiality of the judicial processes in respect of the right to a fair trial. We therefore invite you to consider setting aside of these officials, blamed for acts of exceptional gravity.

guinea9-28greenberetfoulahSept. 28, 2009 – Several Guineans were apprehended on this day and never been seen since

FIDH OGDH the AVIPA and AFADIS out that the Council of Human Rights of the United Nations adopted in its 23th session held in Geneva in June 2013, a resolution on Guinea, including encouraging the Guinean Government to “support the work of the panel of judges and expedite legal proceedings against those responsible for the events of 28 September 2009.”

“Alpha Condé has made 2013 the year of justice, which we welcomed. Today, at the end of the first half of this year, the Guinean justice sends a strong signal with its charge of Claude Pivi, as it did in February charging the Commander Sékou Resco Camara, in another case. However, the Guinean justice must go further and the government will give it an even greater support for the taking stock in December is positive. For the symbolic affairs of the fight against impunity for January and February 2007, 28 September 2009 has now been added to the violence that rages in Conakry, including demonstrations in recent weeks, “said Karim Lahidji, President of FIDH

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

Sept. 28 Massacre Indictment: Smoke and Mirrors to Keep Guinea Out of the ICC and to Appease the International Community

After the September 28 massacre, Guinean security forces guard the dead, yet no protection offered when they were alive

Hearing of a February 1, indictment by a Guinean court of Moussa Tiegboro Camara (a Guinean army colonel and current member of the cabinet of Alpha Conde) for the September 28, 2009, massacre may have been an exhilarating moment for many; unfortunately, there is nothing to celebrate. With this court ruling, Guinea has saved itself a trip to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and given the international community an opportunity to paint Conde as a “democrat.”

Moussa Tiegboro Camara, the September 28 massacre indictee

The ICC

Often, cases end up at the ICC because a country is unwilling or unable to prosecute its own people for crimes.  Yet, after  2 years and 6 months of Guinean courts not prosecuting  the case of the September 28 massacre, the recent indictment of Tiegboro Camara should not be interpreted as a move towards justice. Instead, the indictment is the first step in a smoke and mirrors show (something the Guinean government is very adept at) to ensure that the case goes no further.

Fatou Bensouda, soon to become the chief prosecutor at the international Criminal Court

The timing of the Guinean court indictment is key. After the September 28 massacre, the deputy prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, mounted an in-depth investigation and stated that crimes against humanity had been committed. Unfortunately, the case took a back seat to the 2010 presidential election because the international community, solely concerned with the transition to a civilian government, viewed it as a destabilizing factor that might delay or prevent the election. This coming June 16, Fatou Bensouda, will replace Luis Moreno Ocampo as the chief prosecutor at the ICC.  Because Bensouda will soon be in charge and is so intimately familiar with the details of the horror of the stadium murders and rapes, the government of Guinea had good reason to worry that the ICC might resurrect the case. Now, as long as the Guinean court goes through the motions of pursuing the perpetrators, albeit at a glacial pace, the case is unlikely to ever land at the ICC.

The International Community

During Conde’s short time in office, the international community has been trying to nudge him into a “democratic” mold.  And, Conde has been doing everything possible to break out of it, as witnessed by his numerous human rights violations: ordering state security forces to attack a gathering of Cellou Dalein Diallo’s supporters last April, arrest and incarceration of opposition leaders without evidence or cause, ordering his forces to attack peaceful unarmed opposition demonstrators last September 27, and, in both word and deed, promoting ethnic hatred of Peuhls.

Prior to the 2010 election, the international community, intent on proceeding with the “transition” to a civilian government, overlooked human rights abuses and electoral irregularities that should have resulted in the postponement of the election. Now, it is time to proceed with the final stage of the transition, the legislative elections, and the international community has a tougher job. It has to find a way to overcome the abysmal human rights record of a sitting president whose fraudulent election it heralded. Unlike in the 2010 presidential election, where the September 28 massacre was considered a destabilizing force, it becomes a plus for the legislative elections because it supplies Conde with some newly-minted “democratic” credentials.

The last time the international community said something good about Conde was directly after the 2010 election: “Alpha Conde, Guinea’s first democratically-elected president.” By repeating it often, objections by those who knew better were drowned out. In the lead-up to the legislative elections, the international community will use the indictment for the September 28 massacre to re-cast Conde’s image, once again: “Alpha Conde, Guinea’s first democratically-elected president and guardian of justice for victims of September 28.” 

Conde will be marketed to the world as a “man of justice” giving him even more cover to promote ethnic hatred and kill his fellow citizens in the streets.

No, there is nothing to celebrate in this court ruling. There can only be condemnation of the government of Guinea for its manipulation of the September 28 massacre victims, once again.

________________________________________________

Below is a link to the Jeune Afrique article about this story, followed by a Google translation in English:

Tiegboro Camara Inculpe pour son role presume dans les massacres du 28 septembre, 2009

Google Translation into English of Above Article

Guinea: Camara Tiégboro indicted for historical Alleged Role In The massacres of September 28, 2009
Camara (333) – Toumba Diakite (19) – Moussa Camara Tiégboro (13) – September 28 massacre (11)
09/02/2012 at 09h: 42 By Andrew Silver Konan

Tiégboro Camara is one of the three suspects in the killings hand of September 28, 2009.

February 1, the Guinean justice has indicted Lt. Col.. Moussa Tiegboro Camara, director of the National Agency for the Fight Against Drug Trafficking, Organized Crime and Terrorism in Guinea. Reason: his Alleged Responsibility in the massacres of September 28, 2009 in Conakry stadium.

The information was announced one week after the court ruling, this Wednesday, February 8, the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH). “The indictment of Tiegboro Camara, who was implicated in a UN International Commission of Inquiry report as one of the most responsible for serious violations of human rights perpetrated on September 28 and in the days directly thereafter. This is a positive signal to the victims of crime who are waiting for justice, “Said Belhassen, FIDH President.

The nine local NGOs and Organizations including the Organization Guinean Human Rights and Civil rights (OGDH), the Collective of Associations of Victims (Cave) and the Association of Women and Girls Victims of Violence (AFFV) welcomed the indictment of the Guinean justice system, which is “a breakthrough”.

September 28, 2009, at least 157 people were killed, dozens of women raped and suffered other sex crimes (109 registered cases), more than a hundred were disappeared and 1,253 people were injured. The victims consisted of the political opposition and civil society protesting the potential candidacy of Captain Camara, the junta leader of the National Council for Democracy and Development (CNDD) who had taken power earlier in the year, the after the death of General Lansana Conte.

Three Parties to the main persons

The UN inquiry implicated three prominent CNDD: Captain Camara, Lieutenant Aboubacar Toumba Diakite, aide to the first, and Moussa Camara Tiegboro, then Minister for the Fight against Drugs and Crime. Among the prime suspects to first be indicted is Tiégboro Camara. Dadis Camara, who lives in Ouagadougou since a failed assassination attempt against him in late 2009, has not yet been questioned Toumba Diakite, the author of the attack against Dadis, is within the scope of an arrest warrant in Guinea.

“This indictment is an important step which should lead to the establishment of all responsibilities and conduct of a fair trial in Guinea, that ‘all Guineans are calling for,” say the’ OGDH and victims’ associations. Tiégboro has not been arrested, in any case, not yet.

Guineans in New York Push for Justice in Homeland

September 13, 2011, 11:30 am

Guineans in New York Push for Justice in Homeland

By KIRK SEMPLE
Mamadou Maladho Diallo, a community organizer and journalist, goes through signs used for recurring demonstrations for human rights in Guinea, at the Pottal Fii Bhantal Fouta Djallon office.Todd Heisler/The New York TimesMamadou Maladho Diallo, a community organizer and journalist, goes through signs used for recurring demonstrations for human rights in Guinea, at the Pottal Fii Bhantal Fouta Djallon office.

Tucked behind a Bronx mosque is the headquarters of an advocacy group for immigrants from Guinea, the West African homeland of the hotel housekeeper who accused the French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault in May. In a corner of the office sit stacks of hand-lettered placards that were made for a rally to protest violence against Guinean women.

“We don’t ask for revenge,” explained Mamadou Maladho Diallo, a staff member of the organization. “We ask for justice.”

But Mr. Diallo was not talking about Mr. Strauss-Kahn.

Well before that case made headlines across the world, Guineans in New York City suffered another trauma that has also weighed heavily on their small diaspora. Nearly two years ago, security forces in Guinea went on a rampage at an opposition rally in the country’s capital, raping and killing scores of protesters.

Most of the victims were from the Fulani ethnic group, Guinea’s largest. Since then, Fulanis have been calling — so far, without success — for the arrest and prosecution of the attackers. A group of Fulanis in the New York region are now organizing a nationwide campaign in the United States to draw attention to their quest for justice.

The campaign is scheduled to begin on Thursday with a news conference at the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building in Harlem. A rally in front of the United Nations is planned for Sept. 28. Continue reading “Guineans in New York Push for Justice in Homeland”

Remember that Int’l. Criminal Court Investigation of the State-Sponsored Massacre on Sept. 28, 2009? So Far, No Action.

Check in with the international community and you will find that the ICC investigation has gone nowhere because the international community didn’t want it to for fear of disrupting operations of  mining companies and other international business projects.  A prolonged investigation and trial of Guinean soldiers and those who ordered them to commit the massacre would have sent the country into upheaval.  It probably would have revealed the complicity of Sekouba Konate whom the international community would anoint later as Guinea’s interim leader.  Konate was the key element in stealing the election for Alpha Conde by committing massive fraud and ordering soldiers to repeatedly conduct ethnic-based attacks on  supporters of Conde’s election opponent, Cellou Dalein Diallo, of the Peul ethnic group.  Inclusion in an ICC investigation would hamper Konate’s ability to fix the election. The point is some of the bad guys were needed to pull off Conde’s fraudulent win and the international community feared that if Conde did not “win” the election, Guinea’s overwhelmingly Malinke army would tear the country apart.

So why did the international community encourage the International Criminal Court to investigate in the first place if there was no intention to see it through all the way?  Starting an investigation of September 28 was the only way the international community could set aside the disgraceful atrocity and steer Guinea towards its new theme –a “democratic” election.  And, of course, an election deemed “fair and transparent,” which it wasn’t, was the only way for Conde to become labelled as Guinea’s first, democratically-elected president thus allowing the opening of the flow of money from international financial institutions and giving the mining companies an opportunity to finally exhale in collective relief.

There is nothing in this story about human rights and state-sponsored repression which should be at the forefront of the ICC’s motivations.

GUINEA:  Court action? But When?

A few months from now, Guineans will hold a sombre commemoration: on the 28th of September 2009, soldiers, militias and mercenaries went on the rampage in the capital’s main stadium.

By Bram Posthumus, Conakry

They killed 157 people and raped dozens of women. The victims and survivors of that mass crime are beginning to ask when justice will be their due.

Even for Guineans who are used to an army that is out-of-control, it was a scene they will never forget. They had seen the army opening fire on unarmed civilians before but the scene of women being raped in broad daylight in Conakry’s stadium was beyond shocking.

September 28, 1958 and 2009
September 28th is a significant date. In 1958, when Guinea rejected French colonial rule, it was the day they chose to live independently and with pride, recalling the famous phrase used by their first president Ahmed Sékou Touré, when he addressed visiting French president Charles de Gaulle, prior to the referendum: “we prefer poverty with freedom to a life of opulence in slavery.”

Ahmed Sékou Touré himself brought tyranny to the nation, keeping the population in a state of constant fear by referring to a “permanent conspiracy” to which Guinea was subjected. When he died in 1984, around 50,000 people had lost their lives in one of his concentration camps and up to three million had left the country.

His successor, Lansana Conté, allowed the army to disintegrate and lose its way. In January 2007, amid a nationwide strike, soldiers opened fire on a civilian demonstration, killing more than 150. One of the commanders of that massacre was the president’s son, Ousmane Conté, also a notorious cocaine dealer. He has served time in jail for his drugs trade – never for his more serious crimes. He is still in the army.

Impunity of main culprits
Running through all this is the thread of impunity. And the fear is that those who perpetrated the stadium massacre on September 28th, 2009, will remain unpunished as well. Two of the main culprits are outside the country.

First, captain Moussa Dadis Camara, who became Guinea’s third president when he took over after Lansana Conté died. At the time of the mass crime in the stadium, he was the head of state and politically responsible. He told French Africa magazine Matalana in January he was hoping that the real culprits would be named – if not, God would name them.

The other main suspect is Lieutenant Aboubacar ‘Toumba’ Diakité. It was he who shot Captain Camara in the head during an argument about who should take responsibility. He told French radio earlier this year that he was ready to face justice.

Constant ICC-visits, but no action
What sparked that argument was the announcement by the ICC that it was investigating the massacre. Since then, visits of ICC delegations have been multiplying, much to the chagrin of Boussouriou Diallo, a witness at the September 28 events and spokesman for Avipa09, the Association of the Victims, their Parents and Friends of September 28, set up in 2009.

“We want to see an end to these constant visits,’ he says, ‘and some concrete action taken.’ He is unhappy about the fact that when an ICC delegation visits, they talk separately with the victims, the government and the three Guinean judges appointed to treat the case. ‘We have made it clear from the start: we have no confidence in the judicial system here. The trial should take place in The Hague. Now the ICC keeps saying that it wants to give the Guinean judicial system a chance but our position is clear. No-one will dare testify if a trial is to be held in Guinea. The military is everywhere, there will be reprisals.”

No confidence in Guinean justice system
Past impunity does not inspire confidence in the Guinean justice system, as it requires a wholesale reform exercise. A brief report on a March conference about judicial reform gave a little insight into how rotten that system is. Its independence is non-existent. Magistrates work out of deserted warehouses and at times sessions are even held in open air, under a tree. The system is corrupt at all levels. If you have no money and connections, do not bother taking a case to court’” advises Diallo, adding, “the entire judicial system gets 0.2% of the national budget. So it cannot function. And there is another issue. The term “crime against humanity” does not exist in the Guinean Penal Code.’ In other words: there is no legal term for the type of crime for which Diallo and his fellow victims want to put individuals on trial. No wonder they want the trial outside Guinea.

List of demands
No more visits and a concrete date for a start of proceedings in The Hague. That is the very short list of demands of the victims of September 28. Diallo and his associates do not understand why it takes so long for the ICC to proceed. “We are beginning to believe there is no political will. The pressure must be kept up, especially through the European Union, so that we don’t have to wait too long for justice.”’

Disturbing parallel
A disturbing parallel appears to emerge: a former head of state in exile, crimes committed on his watch, a long wait for justice… While in this case it is not a country but the ICC itself that seems to drag its feet, the case of former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré begins to feel uneasily familiar. When confronting Diallo with the parallel he concurred: ‘Precisely. This is our fear. But we are not giving up.’

After Guinean Judiciary Was Used to “Anoint” Him President, Alpha Conde Wants to Reform the Judicial System???

Anyone who followed the Guinean elections last year knows that the judiciary was used to “select”Alpha Conde as president in spite of the fact that his opponent, Cellou Diallo, garnered more votes.  Are we to believe that Conde intends to reform the judiciary, or is this a ploy to convince international authorities that a trip to the International Criminal Court (ICC) is not necessary for the perpetrators of the September 28, 2009, massacre and that Guinea will soon have a judiciary capable of handling the prosecutions?

Guinea: Conde promises independent judiciary in Guinea

Conakry, Guinea – President Alpha Condé of Guinea on Monday promised to make the judiciary ‘really’ independent in the country. Moved after watching a 15-minute documentary on the state of the judiciary in the country, President Conde said he would allocate more funds to that sector, promising to make the judiciary free ‘for the first time in 50 years of the country’s independence’. The documentary, which was part of the opening session of a meeting of stakeholders in the judiciary, showed that Guinea judicial officers were poor and prone to corruption. While promising to deal with their plight, President Condé asked magistrates and judges to deal with corruption within its fold with a view to making ‘justice more respectable’.

Conde acknowledged that the figure of 0.05 percent of the national budget allocated to the department of Justice was poor and meaningless.

He said that during his three-day visit to France that ended on Sunday, all the investors he met expressed their concerns about the situation of justice in Guinea.

Also speaking, the Minister of Justice, Christian Sow, said the magistrates’ poor salaries made judicial officials prone to corruption.

Pana 29/03/2011