NGO Human Rights Watch investigated the violence that shook the city of Nzérékoré in southern Guinea during the double vote on March 22. It takes stock of at least 32 dead, 90 wounded and extensive property damage and also involves the security forces in this tragedy.
Polling stations were attacked, places of worship burned down and dozens of dead have done so Nzérékoré mourned in a double vote of March 22nd. HRW believes the defense and security forces “did not do enough” to stop the inter-municipal clashes that erupted during and after the vote. The NGO also accuses the defense and security forces of having committed human rights violations.
“People have told us how people have been shot, killed, attacked with machetes and knives. One person was burned alive at a hotel, a young girl was raped by several armed men, condemns Ilaria Allegrozzi, a researcher at Human Rights Watch. Most of the killings were committed by armed civilians from various communities, but we also found that the security forces themselves had killed people. ”
Official documents testify to the existence of a mass grave dug for “sanitary” reasons, where the hospital is overwhelmed, the decay of the corpses makes the atmosphere “breathless,” as we can read.
Although the government acknowledges that the defense and security forces may have been overwhelmed by the violence of the events, the government, for its part, is challenging the working methods of NGOs. Albert Damantang Camara, Security Minister, condemns a bias in the HRW investigation.
“The opposition had clearly stated that they would prevent this election. And so the troops intervened in the violent way that the opposition wanted to prevent the Guineans from voting. Of course, we have a global responsibility to maintain public order and maintain social peace, but we still have to distinguish between the people who are actually to blame for what has happened and the fact that forces can sometimes be orderly. been overwhelmed by intercommunal clashes. ”
For the NGO, new violence must be feared during the presidential election. “All measures have been taken” assures the government with particular emphasis on the area.