UN envoy welcomes indictment of former Guinean leader over 2009 stadium deaths

Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Bangura, briefs journalists. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Bangura, briefs journalists. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Guinea, 9 July 2015 – The United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict has welcomed the indictment against the former President of Guinea, Moussa Dadis Camara, in an investigation into the “horrific events” that took place in the nation’s capital, Conakry, nearly five years ago.

“I commend the national authorities for exercising ownership, leadership and responsibility over this process which seeks to bring justice to victims of crimes committed during the horrific events which took place Conakry in broad daylight,” said Zainab Hawa Bangura in a press release issued late Wednesday.

“This indictment represents an important step in Guinea’s fight against impunity for the crimes that were perpetrated against unarmed civilians,” she added.

A UN-led International Commission of Inquiry found that at least 156 people were killed, at least 109 women and girls raped and subjected to other forms of sexual violence, and more than 1,000 people injured as a result of the events in the stadium and the surrounding areas.

Mr. Camara was the President of Guinea’s National Council for Democracy and Development at the time of the incidents on 28 September 2009.

In the framework of a Joint Communique between the UN and the Government of Guinea signed in November 2011, Ms. Bangura’s Office, through the UN Team of Experts on the Rule of Law/Sexual Violence in Conflict, has been providing technical support to a Panel of Judges established by the Guinean authorities to investigate and prosecute these crimes.

Based on more than 400 hearings, which included 200 victims and witnesses of sexual violence, the Panel has already issued 15 indictments, including against high ranking military officers.

“I praise the courage and determination of the Panel of Judges to investigate the crimes committed, as well as the courage of the victims and witnesses to come forward,” the Special Representative said. “This would not have happened without their relentless efforts in pursuit of justice.”

The United Nations will continue to support ongoing efforts by the Guinean authorities towards a successful conclusion of the process, including in the areas of protection of victims and witnesses, and reparations, she said.