October 16, 2009 / 6:24 PM / 10 years ago

UN's Ban to set up inquiry into Guinea violence

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 16 (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has decided to set up an international inquiry into a bloody crackdown on protesters in Guinea last month, the world body announced on Friday.

A U.N. mission was leaving on Friday to consult Guinean authorities as well as regional leaders and organizations on ways of setting up the commission of inquiry and discuss what it would do, the announcement said.

The mission is led by Haile Menkerios, the top official dealing with Africa in the U.N. political department.

Gunmen used live rounds against anti-government protesters on Sept. 28 in a stadium in Guinea’s capital Conakry. The violence killed 157 people and wounded more than a thousand, according to a local rights group.

Tensions after the violence have led France to advise its citizens to leave the West African country and the United States to withdraw diplomats’ families.

The U.N. announcement said the planned inquiry would "investigate those incidents with a view to determining the accountability of those involved."

It did not say what action might follow. The prosecutor of the Hague-based International Criminal Court said on Thursday he too was investigating the crackdown.

U.N. spokeswoman Michele Montas indicated at a news briefing that the request to set up a U.N. inquiry came from the West African regional body ECOWAS, which is due to hold a summit on Saturday to discuss the situation in Guinea.

In New York, France, the former colonial power in Guinea, has also been pressing for a U.N. investigation, diplomats said. (Reporting by Patrick Worsnip; Editing by Sandra Maler)




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