Monday, January 22, 2007

[Guinean news] 11 more killed during general strike; Conté appeals for unity

On the 13th day of the nationwide general strike, at least 11 people were killed in Conakry's suburbs and over 100 injured during running battles with the poilce, reports the BBC.

The largest protests of the strike occurred the day after head of state General Lansana Conté made an appeal on state radio for both the people and the military to back him.

"Those who want power must wait their turn. It is God who gives power and when he gives it to someone, everyone must stand behind him," Conté warned.

Reuters reports that protesters in Labé slit the throat of an effigy symbolising Conte before marching it in a coffin through the streets at the weekend.

"These are not union demands but political demands. It is an attempted civilian coup d'etat," said Sékou Konaté, secretary-general of the ruling Party of Unity and Progress.

Opposition UPG party leader Jean-Marie Doré warned that planned African Union mediation was too little, too late. "The Guinean people have already taken their destiny in hand. Now is not the moment to stop the process of change," he said.

After nearly two weeks, food is running scarce in the capital.

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