The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Monday warned those responsible for the escalation of violence in Guinea, urging the government and the opposition to resume dialogue after bloody demonstrations in that country.
Tensions are high in Guinea after weeks of protests organized by the opposition that suspects President Alpha Condé of wanting to run for a third term.
« Following reports of numerous episodes of violence in Guinea over the last few weeks, I call on all leaders and their supporters to refrain from violence and to resume dialogue to avoid new victims, » the statement said. ICC prosecutor, Ms. Fatou Bensouda.
« Anyone who commits, orders, incites, encourages or otherwise contributes to committing atrocious crimes … is liable to prosecution by the Guinean courts or the ICC, » she warned in a statement. .
In total, at least 16 civilians and one gendarme were killed during the intense protest movement in which Guinea has been plagued since 14 October at the instigation of the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC). Dozens of others were injured, dozens arrested and tried.
The FNDC wants to block the project loaned to President Condé to seek his own succession in 2020 and to revise the Constitution which currently limits to two the number of presidential terms.
Do justice to the victims of 2009
At the age of 81, Condé kept his intentions vague, but began consultations on the constitution in September. The opposition accused of drifting « dictatorial » the former historical opponent who was the first democratically elected president in 2010, re-elected in 2015, after decades of authoritarian and military regimes.
The international community is concerned about an escalation in a customary country of demonstrations and brutal repression.
In addition, Ms. Bensouda added that her office had visited Guinea in late October to review the investigation of the massacre of more than 150 opposition supporters ten years ago.
Based in The Hague, the ICC has opened a preliminary inquiry into the 28 September 2009 massacre at the largest stadium in Conakry when security forces shot at a crowd protesting against junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara. More than 100 women were raped.
Bensouda said she was encouraged by statements by Guinea’s Justice Minister Mohamed Lamine Fofana during her team’s visit, announcing that the trial of those responsible for the 2009 massacre should start no later than June 2020.
« It has been more than ten years since these horrible crimes took place at the Conakry stadium, » said Bensouda. « The victims and communities that have been affected deserve justice, » she said.