The International Criminal Court has issued a warning to Guinean security forces on the ground on Friday and has called for calm. The Deputy Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, released a statement saying the ICC is keeping ‘a close eye on the situation.’ Some critics are now condemning the International Criminal Court for not giving credence to what took place in Liberia when:
• More than 40 people were killed in riots following a proposed increase in the price of rice in 1979.
• More than 13 people were killed in 1980 during a military take-over.
• About 500 or more people were killed and more than 50 people raped in 1985 during a coup attempt.
• An estimated 300,000 Liberians were killed, and thousands of people violated during Liberia’s civil war which lasted from 1989 – 2003. Five Americans were killed during this same period.
Critics are starting to question the ICC role when it comes to crimes committed in Liberia. Up to now the International Criminal court has yet to address any of the above incidents that took place in Liberia. The above incidents that took place in Liberia are equivalent to genocide. But the ICC is now keeping a close eye on current situation in Guinea. Whereas, the Guinean situation which should not be negated, but if compare to what took place in Liberia, would be like a drop of sand in the middle of a mighty ocean. – Bernard G. Goah Portland Oregon, USA
The International Criminal Court has issued a warning to Guinean security forces on the ground on Friday and has called for calm. The Deputy Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, released a statement saying the ICC is keeping ‘a close eye on the situation.’
“I invite the Guinean authorities to investigate the criminal incidents that have already occurred and any possible future ones,” said Bensouda.
“All reported act of violence will be closely scrutinised by the office in order to determine whether crimes falling under the court’s jurisdiction are committed and should warrant an investigation,” she added in the statement.
Seven people were killed in Guinea this past week after preliminary second-round election results were announced.
Bensouda headed the ICC investigation into the 150 killings and mass rapes that took place at an opposition political rally in Conakry, the capital, on 29 September 2009. Earlier this month, while in Conakry for the investigation, she vowed justice for those who committed crimes at that time.
The ICC’s call for calm follows similar calls from the UN Security Council and the French government after violence in Conakry.
The UN Security Council condemned the violence in Guinea. It “urged all parties to follow the existing legal procedures, resolve their differences peacefully and respect the final decision of the Supreme Court.”
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) urged those in the security field, political leaders and activists “to refrain from violence and inciting ethnic hatred.”
“UNHCR also calls on the transitional government, which proclaimed a state of emergency, to scrupulously adhere to national norms regarding states of emergency including the respect of all rights and obligations,” spokesman Rupert Colville said on Friday.
Final results from the presidential election are due to be confirmed by the Supreme Court by 2 December at the latest. Court officials said the results of the vote, which put Alpha Condé as winner, had been referred to the court. They say they will begin to examine the files and that they have been allowed eight days to do so by the electoral commission.
And France also warned its citizens against travelling to Guinea under the current circumstances. “We want French tourists and citizens to avoid travel to Guinea before the situation is more calm and more clear on the result of the elections and the state of the institutions,” said France’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Christine Farges.
“We are supporting the EU and all the African partners who are working on the ground in Guinea […] We call on all Guineans to act with responsibility,” she added.