This Wednesday, September 28, 2022, eleven Guinean military and political leaders, including the former putschist Moussa Dadis Camara, are tried in Conakry for a massacre committed on September 28, 2009 before the court of Conakry. In fact, this trial represents a great satisfaction for the victims and relatives of the victims who can finally breathe a sigh of relief.
No prescription for blood crimes. Moussa Dadis Camara, the former head of the Guinean military junta, was arrested on Tuesday 27 September 2022. He is not alone. With him, 10 other co-accused – military and political leaders at the time. All, arrested and imprisoned at the Central House of Conakry, they will appear before a judge, in Conakry, on Wednesday, September 28, 2022.
It has been 13 years to the day (28 September 200/ 28 September 2022) since soldiers, politicians and militiamen opened fire on demonstrators during an opposition rally at the Conakry stadium. There were 157 deaths and 109 women raped, according to a UN-mandated international commission of inquiry. The civilian community feels that the numbers are far beyond that. This peaceful demonstration, repressed in blood, was intended to dissuade the former leader of the junta from running for president in 2010. According to the testimonies, the demonstrators were gutted with a knife, beaten with a machete, others died trampled by the panicked crowd, which was under fire. It should be remembered that Moussa Dadis Camara took power during a military coup in 2008. It will not last. Less than a year, turnaround.
Victim of an assassination attempt by his aide-de-camp and leader of the Republican Guard, Aboubacar Sidiki Diakité, aka Toumba, on December 3, 2009 at the Koundara military camp, Dadis survived miraculously, with two bullets, one in the head and one in the neck. The head of his aide-de-camp was put at risk. He was arrested in Dakar on 16 December of the same year. After his hospitalization in Morocco, Dadis Camara returned to Burkina Faso where he had been living in exile ever since. As soon as he returned from his exile to take part in his trial that the international commission imputed to him a “personal criminal responsibility and a command responsibility”, he is arrested and referred to the central prison to the great distress of his lawyer Salifou Béavogui, In front of journalists in court, he expressed his dissatisfaction: they took “our six clients to the central house (prison) where they will apparently be detained until the end of the procedure”. According to him: “Unfortunately, the trial begins with the violation of the rights of the defense.” This could show that the games have already been played. It should be noted that Dadis Camara and his aide-de-camp reject the accusations of this massacre, like a hot potato. The charges against them are heavy. We are talking about crimes against humanity.
After more than a decade of waiting, the hundreds of victims and loved ones, made up of civil parties, could not hope for anything better. Over time, they saw their hopes dwindling. With this trial, the international commission hopes that the hesitations of the power and the impunity erected as “institution”, especially the security forces become almost untouchable, things will change in the right direction. Only one fear: that this trial will not be an announcement that will hurt the victims, relatives and relatives of the massacre of September 28, 2009.