Special Representative Patten calls for justice and reparations for survivors of mass rape committed in Guinea 10 years ago

(New York 30 September 2019)

Twenty-eight September marked the 10th anniversary of the brutal massacre and mass rape in Guinea, Conakry, in which at least 156 people were killed or disappeared and at least 109 women and girls were subjected to sexual violence, as documented by an International Commission of Inquiry mandated by the Secretary-General. I remain deeply concerned that ten years after these grave events, the perpetrators have not faced justice and the needs of the victims remain unmet. Indeed, victims of sexual violence continue to suffer from physical and psychological trauma, compounded by stigmatization and rejection by their own families and communities.

Since its establishment in 2009, my Office has been actively promoting accountability for these crimes. In November 2011, my Office signed a Joint Communiqué on fighting impunity for sexual violence with the Government of Guinea. Further, since 2012, the United Nations Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict, based in my Office, has been providing ongoing technical support to the authorities to advance the pursuit of justice. This support and the courageous testimony of hundreds of victims and witnesses led to the indictment of senior military officials including former President Moussa Dadis Camara. In April 2018, following my visit to Conakry, the Government created a Steering Committee to oversee preparations for the trials. However, progress has been slow, and trials have not yet commenced.

Despite renewed hopes brought about by the completion of the investigation and the establishment of the Steering Committee, a decade since the atrocities, victims of sexual violence and other grave crimes, continue to demand justice and redress. In addition, concerns persist about the safety and security of victims and witnesses, and the fact that individuals charged with serious crimes remain in official government positions. For Guinea to effectively combat impunity and start a new chapter of its history, it will be critical to ensure that indicted senior officials, especially former President Moussa Dadis Camara, appear for trial.

I take note of the recent statement made by Prime Minister Ibrahima Kassory Fofana, emphasizing the Government’s commitment to deliver justice to victims and ensure that all alleged perpetrators are held accountable, irrespective of their political affiliation, title, rank or grade. Ten years after these tragic events, the credibility and leadership of the Guinean authorities are at stake. I call on them to honor their commitments and ensure that trials are expedited, so that perpetrators are held accountable, victims receive justice, support and reparations, and overall Rule of Law, unity and social cohesion is enhanced in the country to ensure that these horrors are never repeated. My Office and the United Nations will continue to support these historic efforts.

For media inquiries, please contact: Ms. Géraldine Boezio

Office of the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, New York

Tel: + 1 917 367-3306 Email: geraldine.boezio@un.org

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