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Guinea: Trial of septembre 2009 massacre resumes

The eleven accused stand as the session starts inside the new courthouse in Conakry on September 28, 2022 at the opening of the trial for the Sep. 28, 2009 massacre.   -  
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CELLOU BINANI/AFP or licensors


Proceedings in the trial of the September 28, 2009, massacre in Guinea, resumed in Conakry on Tuesday (Oct. 3) after a judicial recess.

Guinea's former strongman Moussa Dadis Camara and 10 former military and government officials are accused of the killing of 156 people and the rape of at least 109 women, carried out by security forces loyal to the then-junta leaders.

Those who lost loved ones or carry scars on the tragic day wouldn't have missed this day despite concerns over the financing of the court proceeding, and hypothetical compensations.

A meticulous president and countless lawyers have been questioning the accused and witnesses to establish responsibilities and seek to know, among many things, whether captain Moussa Dadis Camara ordered the crimes, consented to them or could have prevented them.

"I'm very satisfied, I'm really very satisfied this morning. With this resumption, I'm sure we can move forward,"  the president of victims' association Asmaou Diallo said.

"It's not just his (Moussa Thiégboro Camara's) men. He was there himself. He led the mission, you see. So everything we suffered came from his direct orders, his men, the orders came from Colonel Thiégboro," Mamadou Kaly Diallo, a victim says.

The trial opened on the anniversary date in 2022 and has suffered several delays due to a protest movement by prison guards and a lawyers' strike.

"We're delighted indeed [about the resumption] because this is a long-running trial, involving mass crimes, Halimatou Camara, a victims' lawyer says. 

"We've been at it for a year now, and we hope that in the coming months we'll be able to bring this trial to an end."

"When there's no proof, even if you mention Colonel Thiegboro's name from start to finish of the trial it means absolutely nothing. We need to provide proof. Where is Laurent Gbagbo today? He's in Ivory Coast. Where is Charles Blé Goudé? He's in Ivory Coast. Simply because they were summoned by the ICC and there was no evidence, they were simply acquitted. They came back to Ivory Coast."

Representatives of the United Nations, blocs including ECOWAS and the EU are among many welcoming "the progress made in the quest for justice for the victims".

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