Tuesday, January 08, 2008

[Guinean news] Calm returns to Guinea in advance of anticipated general strike

Voice of America reports that calm has returned to Guinea after anti-government protests following the controversial sacking by the head of state of the communications minister.

Youths in suburbs of Conakry burned tires, built barricades and threw stones.

One man was killed as he stepped out of a taxi and was hit by a thrown rock.

Unions have called for a nationwide general strike, suspended last February, to resume on January 10. Embattled Prime Minister Lansana Kouyaté, named to the post with union agreement following last year's strike, has engaged in talks with the syndicates to avert another work stoppage.

"Efforts are being made to defuse the crisis, besides all the efforts made by state institutions, religious leaders and union leaders," Kouyate told a private radio station in Conakry, notes Reuters.

Kouyaté also had what he termed a "very conciliatory exchange" with head of state Gen. Lansana Conté but offered no concrete details.

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