Tuesday, January 23, 2007

[Guinean news] Bissao-Guinean troops cross border into Guinea

On Monday, Guinean union leaders were arrested and later released. Following their release, they were taken to meet with the head of state Gen. Lansana Conté who, a union leader said, registered his displeasure about their arrest, according to the BBC.

On Monday evening, the government announced that they would hold an inquiry into the violence when demonstrators heading for parliament got into running battles with the police in Conakry.

Some 23 people were reportedly killed in Conakry and other towns on Monday alone.

The UN's IRIN news service reports that special forces from neighboring Guinea-Bissau had crossed the border and were "at the [Guinean] town of Buruntuma to support the army," according to a senior Bissao-Guinean officer.

There is a military cooperation agreement between the two countries and longstanding close personal relations between Conté and Guinea-Bissau's president "Nino" Vieira. Conté sent troops to support Vieira's regime during uprisings in that country in 1996 and 1998. Some analysts see this as a sign of increasing desperation on the part of the regime in Conakry.

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