Monday, January 7, 2008

If it's January, this must in Guinea (again)

Could things be heating up in Guinea? Unions have called for a general strike on January 10. On Friday, Reuters reports, one person died when youths burned tires and threw rocks at cars in Conakry to protest the firing of Communications Minister Justin Morel Junior.

The ruling party claimed that any strike could drag the country back to chaos as happened last year when six weeks of anti-government demonstrations left more than 100 people killed.

Unions, and Human Rights Watch, claim that President Lansana Conté has violated the power-sharing agreement that ended last year’s protests.

Here’s our primer on the ever-evolving situation in Guinea.

Two changes in the situation: Two newspapers were recently suspended for writing stories on the slow pace of government reform and their reporters barred from working for three months, says the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Secondly, the Reuters story points out that the recent death of General Arafan Camara, a key ally of Conté, has left the president one ally short in the military. Oddly, it was Conté who fired Camara in May after military protests over better working conditions and the rehiring of military leaders involved in a 1996 mutiny.

No comments: