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Damning report on opposition bloodbath points finger at junta

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-12-17

Human Rights Watch has released an extensive report on the massacre of Guinean opposition supporters on September 28. The NGO blames both junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara and his would-be assassin for the violence.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) released an extensive report Thursday on the Sept. 28 massacre of opposition supporters in a stadium in Guinea's capital, Conakry. The report, widely expected to be mirrored by a forthcoming UN investigative report, accuses both military junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara and his former aide-turned-foe Aboubacar “Toumba” Diakite of crimes against humanity. 

Co-author Peter Bouckaert told FRANCE 24: “The report re-states with more proof and detail what our previous findings in October already revealed". Namely, "that the September 28 violence was organised and pre-meditated”.
 
That day, members of the military and of Camara's personal guard opened fire on opposition supporters gathered inside a stadium in Conakry, the Guinean capital. The report estimates that between 150 and 200 people were killed, while dozens of women were raped and beaten by soldiers.
 
“The report not only sheds light on the extent of the violence committed, but on the widespread cover-up that followed”, argued Bouckaert. The report's author said the violence “was not the result of authorities trying to disperse protesters", adding that the soldiers marched on the stadium, locked its gates and opened fire with one clear
intent: "to kill".
 
Blame game
 
Junta leader Camara has denied responsibility for the bloodbath, saying he did not control all elements of the Guinean army. But the HRW report puts him among a list of five Guinean officials who allegedly organised and ordered the massacre.
 
These include Camara's former aide-de-camp, Diakite, who opened fire on his boss on Dec. 3 and has since been on the run.
 
In an interview with French radio station RFI on Thursday, Diakite, who is often referred to by his nickname "Toumba", denied he was involved in the Sept. 28 massacre and lay the responsibility squarely on Camara's shoulders.
 
Diakite admitted he had tried to kill his former boss, who is now in intensive car in a Moroccan hospital, claiming Camara had sought to blame him for the massacre.
 
Camara's aides say their leader is recovering well. But he has not spoken in public since the assassination attempt, leading many to suggest he might be incapacitated.

 

Date created : 2009-12-17

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