Thirty women and girls who were raped in politically-motivated violence in Guinea in 2009 have received medical and psychological treatment following the intervention of the United Nations (UN).
The UN office working to end conflict-related sexual violence said on Wednesday said it helped to bring world-renowned Congolese surgeon Denis Mukwege and a team from his Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to Conakry, Guinea, to help the victims between January 23 and 27.
In a statement, Under-Secretary-General Zainab Hawa Bangura, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, called the visit “an innovative example of how South-South cooperation can contribute to enhancing capacities and assisting victims of conflict-related sexual violence”.
Dr Mukwege, a surgeon and gynaecologist, also met with high-level officials, including from the health and justice ministries, to discuss the need for sustained health support and the importance of investigating and prosecuting those responsible for the 2009 violence.
On September 28, 2009, civilians organised an opposition rally in a soccer stadium in Conakry when Guinean security forces opened fire on demonstrators.
A UN-led International Commission of Inquiry found that at least 156 people were killed and 109 women and girls raped and subjected to other forms of sexual violence.
In July 2015, the head of the country at the time of the attacks, Moussa Dadis Camara, was indicted, but remains in Dakar awaiting extradition.
The indictment was part of an international effort, aided by the team of legal experts working under Bangura, who have provided technical assistance to Guinean authorities since 2012, according to the UN office.
Seven years since the incidents, Bangura said that she was convinced “that we are closer to seeing the delivery of services, justice and reparations to victims”.