2007 Guinean general strike

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politics and government of
Guinea

The 2007 Guinean general strike began on January 10, 2007. Guinea's trade unions and opposition parties called on President Lansana Conté to resign, accusing him of mismanaging the economy and abusing his authority. The strikers also accused Conté of personally securing the release of Mamadou Sylla and Fode Soumah, both accused of corruption, from prison. [1] The strike ended on January 27 with an agreement between Conté and the unions, according to which Conté would appoint a new prime minister; however, Conté's choice of Eugène Camara as prime minister was deemed unacceptable by the unions, and the strike resumed on February 12. Martial law was imposed on the same day. Nearly two weeks later, Conté agreed to choose a prime minister acceptable to the unions, and on February 26 he named Lansana Kouyaté as prime minister. The strike ended on February 27, and Kouyaté was sworn in on March 1.

Background

Two general strikes had been held in 2006, but these were limited to Conakry. [2] The 2007 protests were first visible in Conakry, where workers stayed at home and businesses were shut. The government responded by threatening to sack striking civil servants. [3] Youths took to the streets, despite a ban on rallies. [4] Action soon spread to the nation's bauxite mines, where labourers stopped work. On 16 January, Conté offered to cut fuel duty, raise teachers' salaries and address police corruption. This was rejected by union leaders, who were then arrested but soon released. [5]

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