- At least two people are reported dead and seven treated for gunshot wounds following clashes between Guinean army and striking police officers whose base was raided in the country’s capital, Conakry, on Tuesday in trying to put down a two day police strike.
Guinea police have embarked on a strike over pay and working conditions since Monday, briefly holding chief of police force hostage for several hours before releasing him on same day. The protest closely follows a strike by junior members of the army in May.
Clashes at a police camp late on Tuesday saw both sides exchanging gun fire which ended two lives of army men after police arrested two soldiers on Monday and took away their vehicle as part of their strike action demanding higher pay.
A police delegation was expected to meet prime minister on Tuesday to put their demands of provisions of rice as well as improved pay. With escalating basic commodities’ prices in Guinea, basic salaries can barely cover the cost of feeding a family.
Guinean government is still recovering from last month row by junior army officers despite announcement by newly elected Guinea Prime Minister Ahmed Tidiane Souaré's, that troops would receive a little over US$ 1,000 and rice subsidies in an effort to stop the unrest.
The mutiny was also said to be linked to the sacking of Mr Lansana Kouyate, who President Lansana Conté appointed in 2007 to bring to an end a period of deadly riots and protests in the country.
Although Guinea's mineral wealth makes it potentially one of Africa's richest countries, its population remains one of the poorest in the continent having been ruled by armed forces’ leaders since independence.
Guinea's current President Lansana Conté seized power in a bloodless coup in 1984 and has ruled with an iron fist ever since. In early 2007, the country faced violent protests and a general strike against his rule. He had won three presidential elections since restoring civilian rule in 1993, after a referendum changed the constitution to remove a two-term limit.
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