Monday, February 19, 2007

Terrorists in uniform brutalize residents, protected by impunity decree

The UN's IRIN service has a chilling piece on life in Guinea's capital under the 'state of siege.' Some Guinean soldiers, never the most disciplined bunch, are completely out of control ever since the martial law decree gave them complete immunity from prosecution.

"The boss made reference to President Lansana Conte and gave us the order to shoot anyone provocative, so whoever provokes me, I will shoot him without any hesitation," said one soldier.

Some on Conakry say 'provocations' can include staring, wearing a desirable pair of shoes, or simply being in the wrong place when the jeeps of soldiers careering around the city start shooting their guns in the air.

Additionally, Guineans say uniformed soldiers have also been looting, raping and beating people at random in most of the sprawling city's suburbs.

The NGO Human Rights Watch claims that the army has killed at least 22 people under this pretext in the last few days, including a seven year old girl. They also report that at least three women from Conakry's suburbs have been raped by uniformed members of the insecurity forces.

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