Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Guinea: Atrocities in Guinea must never be forgotten

UN - The United Nations official leading the fight against sexual violence during conflicts today urged the international community to never forget the deadly violence which ravaged Guinea in September 2009, noting that while justice in the country had been delayed, it could not be denied.

In a statement issued following her visit last week to the West African country, Margot Wallström, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, said that the atrocities, including mass rapes, committed on 28 September 2009 against peaceful protesters in the capital, Conakry, had “shocked the world.”

“Its legacy is far from over. There remains today an urgent need to assist the survivors and bring the perpetrators to justice,” she added.

Ms. Wallström is currently on a three-country trip to West Africa, visiting Guinea, Sierra Leone and now Côte d’Ivoire.

In 2009, at least 150 Guineans were killed and many others raped after armed forces opened fire on unarmed demonstrators at an opposition rally in Conakry.

Last week Ms. Wallström met with survivors, representatives of victims’ associations, and senior Government officials.

In her statement the envoy welcomed the Guinean Government’s commitment to fighting impunity and preventing sexual violence, noting that the UN will “continue to monitor the situation” in Guinea and “anywhere else that sexual violence may occur.”

“The atrocities that occurred on 28 September 2009,” she stressed, “must never be forgotten and never be repeated.”