Tuesday 24 April 2018

Six dead in violent protests in Guinean capital

Six dead in violent protests in Guinean capital
(AFP 02/21/17)

At least six people died during violent protests in the Guinean capital Monday, as people demonstrated over teachers' strikes that have closed schools for the past three weeks, government sources said.

At least 30 people were also wounded, including members of the police force in Conakry, the government said in a statement.

A number of violent protests have rocked the city in the past few weeks, mainly by young people and students who support a teachers' strike.

Teachers' unions are demanding that contracted teachers, who are not full time, be fully integrated in the public school system. They are also asking for a higher salary and better working conditions.

In response, the government closed schools on February 1. After a series of talks, the government asked the teachers to return to school two weeks later.

But unions called for a strike, which was still in effect Monday in the capital and in other parts of the country, teachers and other witnesses told AFP.

"Our capital was the scene of unauthorised and illegal protests by the governor of the city of Conakry" to demand that schools reopen, the government said in a statement.

The protests were marked by "acts of violence, of vandalism" even though the night before, a deal had been reached "with the unions after many days of negotiations."

Four men, including two young people, and one woman were shot and killed during the clashes, said a hospital source.

Another young man was hit by a bus as he tried to flee the violence, a police official said.

At least 12 people were arrested and some ambulances and public health centres sustained damage.

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