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Africa

UN to investigate human rights abuses following junta crackdown

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-10-16

The UN announced on Friday that it would set up a panel to probe human rights abuses in Guinea following a bloody massacre by the junta on September 28. The French foreign ministry has recommended that French nationals leave Guinea.

The United Nations announced on Friday it would set up a panel to probe recent violence and alleged gross human rights violations in Guinea after a bloody crackdown on opposition protesters in the capital, Conakry.
  
UN chief Ban Ki-moon has "decided to establish an international commission of enquiry to investigate those incidents with a view to determining the accountability of those involved," his spokeswoman Michele Montas told a press briefing.

The decision comes amid growing concern for foreign nationals living in Guinea as the international community has been taking a harder line against the ruling junta over the past week.

The French foreign ministry has issued a statement urging all French nationals to leave Guinea because of a spike in violent crime following the crackdown.

There are an estimated 2,500 French nationals in the former French colony.

"We strongly advise against travel to Guinea, and French nationals present in the country are advised to leave," says a travel advisory on the foreign ministry website, citing "an increase in acts of banditry and armed robberies."

In a telephone interview with FRANCE 24 on Friday, Minister of State for Cooperation and Francophonie, Alan Joyandet, reiterated the French foreign ministry’s emphatic recommendation.

Joyandet said that no evacuation was in the works, but that it was “recommended” that they leave due to various “exactions” committed by the military against civilians.

“We no longer know if anyone can guarantee the safety of civilians,” he added, repeating his demand that “all light be shed” on the junta crackdown.

"There is talk of total anarchy"

One such French expat in Conakry who wished to remain anonymous told FRANCE 24 that the danger was heightened at night. He said, “There is talk of total anarchy. We were told to stay at home. There are military barrages all over the city. We are supposed to take refuge at night rather than being out and about.”

The head of Guinea's military junta, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, has denied ordering security troops to attack the demonstrators at the September 28 opposition rally.

The international community has roundly condemned the violence. The African Union has given the junta until midnight this Saturday to pledge in writing that it will not field a candidate for January's presidential elections.

The International Criminal Court in The Hague confirmed on Wednesday that it was investigating the incident.

 

Date created : 2009-10-16

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