12 October 2012

Guinea: Ministerial Reshuffle - a Civilian Govt and a Commitment to Human Rights

Photo: African Elections Project (AEP)
A woman votes in the elections in Guinea.

press release

Back from an international mission to Guinea, FIDH and its member organisation, OGDH, welcome the annoucement of a ministerial reshuffle which removes actors allegedly responsible for impunity and creates a ministry of human rights and civil liberties.

On Friday, October 5, 2012, Mr. Sekou Kissi CAMARA, spokesperson of the governement, announced a partial ministerial reshuffle with three military officers holding governemental positions leaving : General Mamadouba Toto CAMARA, Minister of security and civilian protection, General Mathurin BANGOURA, Minister of urban planning and habitat and finally General Mamadou Korka Diallo, Minister of livestock.

For reference, these three generals were members of the National Council for development and democracy (CNDD), political organ of the junta led by Captain Moussa Dadis CAMARA from 2008 to 2009. General Mamadouba Toto Camara was the first Vice-President of the CNDD and already minister of security at the time. He was also minister of security whenthe massacre of 28 September 2009 was committed at Conakry stadium and during the following days. As a matter of fact, he is identified by the report of the United Nations International commission of inquiry, regarding the involvement of the police in these events.

Numerous victims' testimonies collected by FIDH and OGDH and different victims' associations outline the important role played by the police in the bloody repression of the demonstration which resulted in at least 157 deaths, the sexual violence, including rape, towards a hundred women and left very many wounded.

"The formation of a civilian government, which dismisses actors that held high responsibilities during serious human rights violations and particularly in 2009 is an encouraging signal of Guinean authorities' political will to strenghtening the rule of law in the country" , said Souhayr Belhassen, FIDH President. "Other persons holding senior positions, notably in the security sector, allegedly responsible for severe human rights violations must also be dismissed until their actions and responsibilities in the violations perpetrated in Guinea are clarified ", she added.

Furthermore, FIDH and OGDH take note of the creation of a ministry of human rights and civil liberties, assigned to Mr. Kalifa Gassama DIABY. " It is the first time in Guinea that human rights hold such a significant space in government. It is to be saluted and OGDH, with FIDH and victims' associations, are looking forward to working with this new interlocutor, and hoping that financial and human ressources will be made available ", declared Thierno Maadjou Sow, OGDH President.

Our organisations also underline the reinforcement of the ministry of Justice, as it becomes a state ministry and now holds the second place in government. These decisions are part of the commitments made by the Head of State during an audience granted to a mission of the FIDH on September 27, 2012, during which the President reaffirmed his willingness to do everything necessary to have a well functioning justice system and put an end oto impunity. "

The road map of the new government is clear : organise free, fair and inclusive elections as soon as possible ; ensure a functional justice system, in particular in the procedures concerning serious human rights violations ; and engage in the implementation of the national reconciliation process by supporting the provisional commission in charge of reconciliation (CPCRN) in the setting up of national consultations ", said Souhayr Belhassen.

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