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UN Security Council urges Guinea junta to investigate rights abuse allegations

[JURIST] The UN Security Council on Wednesday [official website] called [press release] for an investigation into alleged human rights abuses perpetrated by the Guinean military junta during the September 28 incidents at Conakry [BBC backgrounder]. Vietnamese Ambassador Le Luong Minh [official profile], whose country currently holds the Security Council presidency, released the statement on behalf of the body:

The Security Council remains deeply concerned by the situation in Guinea which might pose a risk to regional peace and security following the killings that occurred in Conakry on 28 September, when members of the army opened fire on civilians attending a rally. It strongly condemns the violence that reportedly caused more than 150 deaths and hundreds of wounded and 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 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.
Minh went on to call for elections to take place in 2010 as previously scheduled and to applaud the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States [official website] to establish a transitional government in Guinea and to ensure fair elections that would exclude members of the current military leadership.

Last week, Guinean Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexandre Cece Loua [GuineeNews profile] said during a visit to the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] that the Guinean judiciary is capable of and intends to investigate [JURIST report] and prosecute any crimes committed during the incidents of September 28, in which more than 150 civilians were killed and more than 1,200 were wounded, according to the UN and human rights groups. The Guinea junta has created a National Commission for an Independent Investigation that will work with the committee established [JURIST report] recently by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon [official profile] to look into possible human rights abuses by Guinean soldiers. Earlier this month, the ICC placed the Guinean military under preliminary investigation [JURIST report] for human rights violations during the September 28 incident. The leader of the military junta, Moussa Dadis Camara [BBC profile], led a coup in December 2008 after the death of President Lansana Conte [BBC obituary]. Despite an initial reaction welcoming [Washington Times report] Camara after Conte's 24-year regime, there is now widespread opposition to the junta. Conditions inside the country have since declined [HRW report] with a rise in violence and governmental crackdown on opposition groups.

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