Monday, January 22, 2007

Guinean insecurity forces gun down 17

At least 17 people have been killed today and over 100 injured in running battles between the Guinean police and anti-government protesters. Most of the dead were in or around the capital Conakry but deaths were also reported in the northeast cities of Kankan and Siguiri.

10 people were killed in the previous dozen days of the country's nationwide general strike. The strike was launched by trade unions to demand the resignation or constitutional removal from office of the country's head of state Gen. Lansana Conté, who they argue is too ill to govern effectively.

But Conté remained defiant. In a Saturday speech broadcast of state radio, the military strongman warned, "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."

Food is also becoming scarce in Conakry.

"When you've had more than two decades of suffering, you're ready to suffer some more to get a final result," said Aboubacar Fofana, a 30-year-old economics graduate who scrapes together a living as a market trader. "Maybe at some point the security forces will realize they can't kill everyone just to save one man."

Guinéenews reports that on Monday, all of the major union leaders were arrested and thrown into the Conakry jail.

Additionally, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon asked the Guinean regime to launch an investigation into the deaths of the protesters. He added that the UN was 'gravely disturbed by the use of excessive force.'

Note: Friends of Guinea's blog has regular updates on the general strike in Guinea.


At 8:02 PM, Blogger Urska said...

Just a small mistake, but Siguiri and Kankan are in the northeast, not the northwest.

At 10:31 PM, Blogger Brian said...

I actually realized this mistake when I was away from my computer and intended to change it but forgot. Thanks.


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