Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Guinean strongman sacks peace agreement prime minister

Republished from Friends of Guinea blog... with permission.

Guinean head of state Gen. Lansana Conté has fired Prime Minister Lansana Kouyaté and replaced him with Ahmed Tidiane Souaré, a former minister of mines and education and ally of the general.

The sacking of Kouyaté is noteworthy because the former diplomat was named head of government in order to bring an end to the 2007 general strike.

However, the BBC's correspondent in Conakry told Network Africa that one of the trade unions' leaders said the sacking of Kouyaté was not her problem and that labor would focus on what sort of people the new prime minister brought into the cabinet.

Public reaction to Kouyaté's sacking was generally muted, although protesters in his hometown of Kankan marched and burned tires.

Guinéenews reports that in Souaré's first public declaration, the new head of government would consult with Conté to form a government that would 'avoid exclusion.'

Kouyaté is the third prime minister in the last several years to be sacked or resign after a relatively brief time due to what many believe is the refusal of the clan surrounding Conté to cede any power to a reformist leader.

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