Monday, November 02, 2009

Guinea slaughter was 'premeditated', says NGO

A recent report by the advocacy group Human Rights Watch concluded that massacre by the Guinean 'security' forces which killed over 150 was in fact premeditated.

The country's military dictator Capt. Moussa Dadis Camara had blamed the killings on out-of-control members of the military and Red Berets (presidential guard). The argument seemed plausible as army discipline has long been a problem in the country, especially the mutiny-turned-coup attempt of 2-3 February 1996, which I lived through.

Dadis also had the audacity to partly blame the demonstrators, who'd gathered to peacefully protest his decision to break his promise and run in next January's presidential election.

This remarkable piece of reportage by France 24 (unfortunately available only in French) reveals beyond any shadow of a doubt the messiah complex that has clearly seized Dadis.

HRW found that members of the Presidential Guard carried out a premeditated massacre of at least 150 people on September 28 and brutally raped dozens of women. Red berets shot at opposition supporters until they ran out of bullets, then continued to kill with bayonets and knives.

The Africa director of HRW said, "Security forces surrounded and blockaded the stadium, then stormed in and fired at protesters in cold blood until they ran out of bullets. They carried out grisly gang rapes and murders of women in full sight of the commanders. That’s no accident."

HRW also discounted claims that the massacre was provoked. It obtained video evidence showing that the crowd in Conakry's main stadium had a "peaceful and celebratory atmosphere" with "singing, dancing... and even praying."

The NGO added that it has not seen any evidence that any opposition supporters were armed, and no security officials were wounded by opposition supporters at the stadium, suggesting that there was no legitimate threat posed by the opposition supporters that required the violence that followed.

It added that the violence started as soon as the Presidential Guard savages entered the stadium and "began firing point-blank directly into the massive crowd."

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