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ICC deputy prosecutor in Guinea to investigate September massacre

[JURIST] International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] deputy prosecutor Fatou Bensouda [official profile] arrived in Guinea Wednesday for a three-day investigation into the killing of more than 150 civilians in Conakry [BBC backgrounder] in September. During her investigation, Bensouda will determine whether the ICC has jurisdiction to try those responsible [AFP report] for the massacre if the government fails to do so. Bensouda has stated that the victims' families will have justice [BBC report]. The Rome Statute [text] enables the ICC to adjudicate genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, but the court only acts if the member state is unable or unwilling to try those accused of committing serious crimes.

Earlier this month, a commission created by Guinea's junta announced [JURIST report] that former Guinean junta aide Lieutenant Aboubacar Cherif "Toumba" Diakite is the sole government official to blame for the massacre. The commission's conclusion contradicts a UN report [JURIST report] that blamed junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara [BBC profile], Minister for Special Services Moussa Tiegboro Camara, and Toumba for the September 28 slayings. In October, the ICC placed the Guinean military under preliminary investigation for human rights violations related to the Conakry incident, and the UN and Guinea both announced they were creating commissions to investigate [JURIST reports] the killings. The Conakry incident stemmed from a pro-democracy demonstration against Camara, who intended to push elections forward three months and stand for re-election.

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