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Stadium massacre a 'crime against humanity', says UN

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-22

The Sept. 28 massacre of opposition supporters by Guinean troops loyal to the ruling junta amounted to a "crime against humanity", a UN report said on Monday. The attack left scores of women raped and more than 156 people dead or missing.

AFP - Killings of anti-government protesters perpetrated by Guinean security forces in Conakry in late September amount to "crimes against humanity," according to a report by a UN inquiry panel released Monday.

The commission said it was able to confirm the identity of 156 people killed or missing and said at least 109 women were subjected to "rapes and other sexual violence, including sexual mutilations and sexual slavery."

"It is reasonable to conclude that the crimes perpetrated on September 28 and the following days can be described as "crimes against humanity," it noted.

It was referring to the attack by forces loyal to military junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara on an opposition protest that had gathered in a stadium in the capital Conakry.

The panel said the number of "victims of all those violations is probably higher" as Guinea's ruling junta moved to destroy evidence of the crimes committed in the Conakry stadium, including removal of bodies, burial in mass graves, denial of medical care to the victims and military takeover of hospitals and morgues.

The report said that there were reasonable grounds to presume that Camara, his aide de camp Aboubacar Sidiki Diakite and major Moussa Tieggboro Camara, the minister in charge of special services and the fight against drug trafficking, should be personally held to account before international justice.

Diakite allegedly tried to fatally shoot Camara in an attack early this month, after which the junta leader was flown to Morocco for medical treatment.

Camara took power in Guinea in December last year in a military putsch carried out in the wake of president Lansana Conte's death.

His unstable regime has not been recognized by the African Union, nor by the rest of the international community, and his plan to seek election as a civilian leader in upcoming elections was greeted with protests.

The UN panel, which was created late October, meanwhile recommended that the UN Security Council be seized with the situation in Guinea and that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees set up an office there at least for next year.

It also enjoins the Guinean government to provide families of victims with all relevant information on the case of the missing, to ask the International Criminal Court to investigate presumed crimes against humanity, to provide adequate compensation to the victims and to impose targeted sanctions against the main perpetrators of these violations."

Date created : 2009-12-21


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