- West Africa
- Justice - Crime - Governance
Guinea: The military won’t go unpunished
Nouhou Thiam, Chief of General Staff of the Guinean Army announced Wednesday that all soldiers must be held responsible for their acts, especially for last year’s bloody 28 September massacres at the Conakry stadium.
"Everyone will be held responsible for his actions, everyone will explain why they killed, who gave them the order to kill," said Nouhou Thiam Wednesday. On tour to raise awareness in the various military barracks in the West African country, Thiam Nouhou is seeking to root out indiscipline in the army’s rank and file.
"The Guinean army should not be an army of thieves, thugs, an army of pirates, but rather a republican army, a responsible army because Guinea is a great country," he said.
And Nouhou Thiam has promised to make any Guinean soldier who has been accused of crimes against the population answer in court. Revisiting the 2009, 28 September Conakry stadium massacre, which turned a peaceful demonstration into a bloodbath, the army chief warned that "all those who have committed crimes, who have killed people, now or in the past, will answer for their acts."
At least 157 people died during the stadium massacre, while a number of rape cases were also reported. An inquiry set up by the UN has implicated several soldiers.
"If an investigation commission denounces a soldier, I will hand him over immediately", Nouhou Thiam threatened. "He will go and give account because I never asked anyone to go and kill people," he added, referring to Captain Dadis Camara who is in a self imposed exile in Ouagadougou. The former junta head is accused of instigating the Sept. 28 massacres, according to an international commission of inquiry.
The army chief’s statement comes only a few days after at least eight senior officers of the Guinean army close to captain Dadis Moussa Camara were detained for several days by the police near Conakry, before being released Monday.
Acting president Sékouba Konate has, since the beginning of the transitional period, embarked on a disciplinary campaign within the ranks of the Guinean army.