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In Guinea, thirteen years after the massacre of September 28, the justice awaited

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In Guinea, history is written a little stronger on September 28. In 1958, the non-foundation of Sekou Touré to de Gaulle was the prelude to the country’s independence and a quarter century of dictatorial rule. In 2009, on the same date, the stadium in the capital, Conakry, was transformed into a huge crime scene. More than 150 dead, more than 100 women raped, 1,400 injured by the soldiers of the junta then in power, according to a United Nations commission of inquiry. The brutality of the Guinean army at its peak.

Thirteen years later, to the day, the trial of this day of horror must finally open in Conakry. To say that this is expected in this country with a history of political violence is an understatement. The instruction of Guinean magistrates has been closed since the end of 2017. Lack of political will under the presidency of Alpha Condé (2010-2021) – the former opponent did not want to alienate a certain number of officers who in his service after his election – the heaviest legal case in the country had never resulted. It took a coup d’etat, on September 5, 2021, to lead to the opening of the trial.

“The transitional government has adopted a criminal policy aimed at combating impunity for violent crimes. It was therefore necessary to take legal actionensures the World Alphonse Charles Wright, Guinean Minister of Justice. It is a break with the past and compliance with the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Council. »

“hooded men”

That a military regime seeks to free itself from international pressures by judging its predecessors, that Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya, who arrived at the head of the country by a murderous coup d’etat, seeks to polish his image with his fellow citizens, all of this is insignificant, for Saran Cissé. “At least he showed the will. A lawsuit is already a reparation”, consider this 46-year-old woman. In 2009, she was 33, and she has not forgotten that day when, like tens of thousands of Guineans, she took to the streets to express her refusal to see the leader of the putschists of the moment, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, compete in the upcoming election.

After having escaped the roadblocks of the gendarmes and the police who were trying to block access to the 28-September stadium, the place of the rally planned by the opposition, the one who was then one of the leaders of the youth of the Union Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG), one of the main opposition formations, entered the compound where “there was so much atmosphere”. Former prime ministers Cellou Dalein Diallo, Sidya Touré, François Fall and Jean-Marie Doré are at the podium. A few minutes later, shots ring out on the lawn. “Everywhere I turned my head, there were hooded men. Everyone was panicked.” remembers Saran Cissé.

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