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Guinea’s Conde Must Prosecute Crimes, Human Rights Watch Says

Guinea’s president, Alpha Conde, must investigate crimes committed by security forces in 2007 and 2009 and strengthen the country’s judicial system, according to New York-based Human Rights Watch.

The West African nation should have “zero tolerance” toward crimes perpetrated by the army, the group said in a report released in Conakry, the capital, today. The military ruled for two years before Conde’s election in November that marked a return to civilian leadership in the world’s top bauxite exporter.

In 2007, 137 people were killed and 1,700 wounded when security forces opened fire on protesters demonstrating against deteriorating economic conditions and bad governance in the country then ruled by Lansana Conte, who seized power in 1984, according to the HRW report.

In September 2009, 150 opposition supporters were killed and scores of women raped during a protest calling for an end to the rule of Moussa Dadis Camara, the army captain that seized power following the death of Conte in 2008.

Guinea should form a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate the abuses, said Corinne Dufka, a senior West African researcher with Human Rights Watch.

“Guinea’s future is at stake,” she told reporters today.

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