Saturday, January 20, 2007

[Guinean news] Four more killed in general strike; top presidential adviser sacked

The tenth day of the Guinean nationwide general strike saw four people killed in the southeastern city of N'Zérékoré, all by bullets. 16 were injured, according to Guinéenews.

The West African regional grouping ECOWAS has sent two neighboring leaders to try to mediate the Guinean crisis: Abdoulaye Wade and Olesegun Obasanjo, presidents of Senegal and Nigeria respectively.

The Guinean head of state Gen. Lansana Conté dismissed his top advisor, presidential affairs minister Fodé Bangoura. With the prime ministerial post vacant and the Conté ailing, Bangoura had been seen by many as the de facto leader of the government.

AngolaPress reports that some close associates of General Conte recently accused Bangoura of being behind the strikers who have condemned the head of state for interfering with the judicial process, which might explain why the strike was launched after Conté had personally freed two of his close allies jailed on corruption charges after a public feud with Bangoura.

In the last few years, Bangoura is the third head of government (if de facto) to be sacked after trying to take strong action against corruption, after the former prime ministers Cellou Dalien Diallo and François Loucény Fall.

Transparency International recently named Guinea as the most corrupt country in Africa.

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