GUINEA: SECURITY COUNCIL CALLS FOR TRIAL OF PERPETRATORS OF BLOODY CRACKDOWN
The Security Council today again called on Guinean authorities to charge and try the perpetrators of last month's deadly crackdown on unarmed demonstrators that reportedly killed 150 people and wounded hundreds more, warning that situation might pose a risk to regional peace.
"The Security Council reiterates the need for the national authorities to fight against impunity, bring the perpetrators to justice, uphold the rule of law, including the respect for basic human rights and release all the individuals who are being denied due process under the law," the 15-member body said in a <"http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2009/sc9777.doc.htm">presidential statement read by Ambassador Le Luong Minh of Viet Nam, which holds this month's presidency.
Beyond the deaths and injuries that resulted from the crackdown on 28 September in Conakry, the capital, the statement cited "other blatant violations of human rights including numerous rapes and sexual crimes against women, as well as the arbitrary arrest of peaceful demonstrators and opposition party leaders."
The Council endorsed efforts by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to resolve the crisis, particularly its insistence on the establishment of a new transitional authority to ensure credible, free and fair elections in which Captain Moussa Dadis Camara and other coup leaders would not be candidates.
Capt. Camara is head of the National Council for Democracy and Development (NCDD), which seized power in December in a coup d'état after the death of then president Lansana Conté.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will soon set up an international and independent commission of inquiry into the crackdown following its acceptance by local and regional stakeholders, including Mr. Camara, who pledged full cooperation during a recent visit from UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Haile Menkerios.