Statement of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the 28 September 2009 events in Conakry, Guinea
This day, the Independence Day of Guinea, also marks the fifth anniversary of the tragic events that took place on 28 September 2009 at the Conakry national stadium, during which serious crimes under the International Criminal Court's jurisdiction were allegedly committed against the civilian population. Since then, my Office has been conducting a preliminary examination of the situation in Guinea.
In accordance with our positive approach to complementarity, my Office has engaged on an on-going basis with the Guinean authorities, who have the primary responsibility to end impunity for these crimes. As a result, a national investigation into the events of 28 September 2009 is underway and although the case remains at the investigation stage, significant steps have been taken by Guinean judicial authorities, including in the past year. Several persons who may be amongst those most responsible for the crimes committed have been charged and hundreds of victims have been heard. I encourage the competent authorities to continue their efforts and to pay particular attention to the commission of sexual and gender-based crimes, which are devastating for the victims, their families and their communities. I also urge the international community to intensify its support to Guinea's efforts in this regard.
This investigation is not only a significant step forward in the fight against impunity in Guinea which is a State Party to the ICC, but also of great importance for the victims, who have been calling for justice for several years. As the Prosecutor of the ICC, I fully share their aspirations and their anxiety. It is my hope that those responsible for the crimes committed on 28 September 2009 will be brought to account without further delay and it is my duty to ensure this will happen, whether before a Guinean court or before the International Criminal Court. As I have previously said, it is either one or the other; there is no third option.