Thursday 26 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
Forty-four African countries have signed an agreement establishing a free trade area seen as vital to the continent's economic development, the head of the African Union said Wednesday. "The agreement establishing the CFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area) was signed by 44 countries," said Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the AU commission. The creation of a free trade area -- billed as the world's largest -- comes after two years of negotiations, and is one of the AU's flagship projects for greater African integration. However, the agreement will still have to be ratified at a national level, and is only due to come into force in 180 days. The full list of countries which did...
(AFP (eng) 03/19/18)
Classes resumed Monday in Guinean schools after a month-long strike by teachers seeking the implementation of a 40-percent pay increase that was only partially fulfilled. The strike, which began on February 12, had paralysed the education system and fractured relations between teachers, parents and the state, while President Alpha Conde faced criticism for allowing the industrial action to drag on. "I am happy to see my friends and teachers again," said final-year student Idrissa Camara, 16, outside a school in the Conakry suburb of Kibe. "I failed the school leaving exam last year. This year is my final chance. These strikes haven't helped at all," he said. The powerful teachers' union agreed to lift the strike on Wednesday after gaining...
(AFP (eng) 03/15/18)
Women angered by a police crackdown on anti-government demonstrations blockaded a motorway in the Guinean capital on Thursday a day after three people were killed in a fresh round of protests. About 1,000 women, dressed in red and white, marched down the Le Prince motorway crossing the city, led by Halimatou Dalein Diallo, the wife of Cellou Dalein Diallo, who heads the country's main opposition party, an AFP reporter saw. They chanted slogans such as "Stop targeted kilings" and "Down with police barbarity." The opposition Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG) has been staging protests in the capital, Conakry...
(AFP (eng) 03/15/18)
Two men were reportedly shot dead Wednesday during protests in the Guinean capital as the powerful teachers' union called off a month-long strike after reaching agreement with the government on pay. The strikes have paralysed the country's education system and fractured relations between teachers, parents and the state, while President Alpha Conde has faced criticism for allowing the industrial action to drag on. They have run in parallel to protests by the opposition Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG), two of whose supporters were killed during protests, reports said. State television announced the death of 22-year-old Mamadou Bailo Diallo after a 25-year-old was also shot dead in the same area...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/18)
Guinea's powerful teachers' union called off a month-long strike on Wednesday after reaching an agreement with the government on pay. The strikes have paralysed the country's education system and fractured relations between teachers, parents and the state, while President Alpha Conde has faced criticism for allowing the industrial action to drag on. They have run in parallel to protests by the opposition Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG), one of whose supporters was killed during a demonstration on Wednesday, his family told AFP. Aboubacar Soumah, the secretary general of the SLECG teachers' union, declared the strike over after signing an agreement with the Inspector General for Work, Alya Camara.
(AFP (eng) 03/14/18)
Police fired teargas at protesters from opposition parties in Guinea on Tuesday, while the ruling party of President Alpha Conde accused his opponents of seeking to destabilise the West African nation. The opposition Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG) has been staging protests in the capital, Conakry, since losing February 4 local elections it says were rigged. "Until they give us our stolen votes, we won't leave the streets," UFDG leader and former prime minister Cellou Dalein Diallo told AFP. Young people erected barricades in the city, burned tyres and threw stones at police, who replied with teargas, an AFP correspondent saw.
(AFP (eng) 03/14/18)
The EU warned African and other countries on Wednesday that their citizens will find it harder to get visas to Europe if they refuse to readmit economic migrants under the bloc's efforts to curb migration. Brussels has been seeking greater cooperation from such countries to take back irregular migrants since Europe was hit in 2015 with its worst migration crisis since World War II. "I cannot understand how a country can refuse to take back its nationals" when they have...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/18)
CONAKRY (Reuters) - Opposition supporters in Guinea protested and erected barricades in the capital Conakry and the mining towns of Boke and Kamsar on Tuesday, disrupting some shipments of the aluminum ore bauxite, a Reuters witness and industry officials said. The unrest sparked by a row over local elections held in February has paralyzed much of Conakry since protests erupted on Monday. Demonstrations spread to Boke on Tuesday, where police responded with teargas and clubs, a resident said. Spokesmen for...
(AFP (eng) 03/12/18)
Thousands of people demonstrated in central Conakry on Monday while in several other districts of the Guinean capital youths erected roadblocks and set fire to tyres, in the latest wave of unrest after disputed local elections. The country's main opposition, the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG), had called for the city to come to a "standstill" in a day of protest against President Alpha Conde. Tensions have also been stoked by a dissident teacher union's strike that has gripped the education sector since February 12. In Conakry's administrative and business area of Kaloum, several thousand people rallied on Monday to demand that schools be reopened.
(AFP (eng) 03/09/18)
Guinean President Alpha Conde will carry out a "major cabinet reshuffle", his office said Thursday, following weeks of strikes and demonstrations in the country after disputed local elections. Conde will install ministers "who listen to the people," a statement said. It was released after Conde was booed by hundreds of angry women at a ceremony to mark International Women's Day, according to an AFP correspondent. Political unrest erupted in early February when Conde's ruling party won the first local elections...
(AFP (eng) 03/09/18)
A thousand artists from over 50 countries will gather in Ivory Coast on Saturday for a week-long festival of African music, theatre, dance, comedy, slam poetry and storytelling. The 10th edition of the biannual Market for African Performing Arts, known by its French initials as MASA, will mark the 25th anniversary of the event. This year's crop of artists come from all over Africa and the African diaspora in Japan, Haiti and Canada, performing in the economic capital Abidjan and...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/18)
Thousands of women, clad in white, marched in the Guinean capital of Conakry on Wednesday in protest at a violent crackdown on political demonstrations following elections last month. Around 5,000 women, dressed in the local colour of mourning, took part in the three-kilometre (two-mile) march, according to an AFP estimate. The organisers put the turnout at 10,000 They carried banners reading, "Too many deaths -- the state is still asleep" and "Alpha rhymes with crime," a reference to the president...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/18)
"Sir, we're going to handcuff you," a coast guard from Sao Tome tells a man accused of fishing illegally in the archipelago's waters. But the "fisherman" is really a French navy seaman disguised in a T-shirt, cap and sunglasses -- a member of an unusual multinational training exercise to combat crime in the Gulf of Guinea. Illegal fishing, piracy and hostage-taking haunt the vast bay lying off West Africa, whose coastline runs from Liberia in the west to Gabon in...
(AFP (eng) 02/26/18)
Thousands of young people erected barricades and blocked traffic in the Guinean capital Conakry on Monday with markets and schools shut as mass strikes gripped the city. A general strike was called by the Guinea General Union of Workers (UGTG) in addition to an ongoing walkout by teachers and a complete shutdown of economic activity demanded by the opposition after disputed local elections. Conakry's biggest market, Madina, failed to open its doors along with the vast majority of businesses, as youths overturned bins and set tyres on fire, cutting off entire sections of the city to vehicles.
(AFP (eng) 02/26/18)
Guinea braced Monday for a general strike by unions and a complete shutdown of economic activity demanded by the country's opposition after disputed local elections. The victory by the ruling party of President Alpha Conde in the February 4 vote was marred by post-electoral violence involving supporters of the losing parties. An on-off teachers' strike that has paralysed the education system also restarted two weeks ago and shows no signs of stopping. Now the powerful Guinea General Union of Workers (UGTG) has joined the movement by teachers and opposition figures by calling for workers to stay at home on Monday.
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
President Alpha Conde's ruling party won a significant majority in Guinea's first local elections since 2005, near-complete results showed on Wednesday, although the main opposition party took the capital, Conakry. The election held on February 4 was the first of its kind since the end of military dictatorship, and followed eight years of delays blamed on lack of funds, political infighting and the 2013-16 Ebola crisis. Conde's Rally for the Guinean People (RPG) took 1.35 million votes, electing 3,284 councillors...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
A policeman died from a head wound on Monday sustained as people protested over delayed local election results in Guinea and teachers went on strike over pay, a police spokesman said. Thousands of young people have been demonstrating in the Guinean capital, Conakry, over the failure to announce results to the February 4 election, while a teachers' strike has also entered its second week. "A policeman died in the disorder around Koloma (a Conakry suburb). A projectile hit him in...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
About 224 million people are suffering from malnutrition across Africa as climate change and conflicts heighten food insecurity across the continent, a top UN food agency official said Monday. The official, speaking at a conference on Africa organised by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said the situation was a "cause of concern" as the continent's population was expected to reach 1.7 billion by 2030. "Under-nourishment appears to have increased from about 21 percent to nearly 23 percent between...
(AFP (eng) 02/13/18)
At least two men died Monday in clashes between demonstrators and riot police in Guinea, following protests over local election results and the resumption of a teachers' strike, a government spokesman said. "There have been two deaths today in circumstances yet to be established," said spokesman Albert Damantang Camara. "The two were killed by police during clashes with youths in Hamdallaye district," an opposition fiefdom in the capital Conakry, a security source said. Demonstrators gathered less than a week after at least 50 people were arrested over an arson attack that killed five children, in post-election violence in central Guinea.
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
Police have arrested at least 50 people following an arson attack that killed five children in central Guinea after last weekend's local elections, a local official said. Unrest has flared in the West African country after the ballot, with seven deaths recorded so far across the country amid violent clashes between opposition supporters and riot police. "After the violence in Kalinko, security forces made arrests of at least 50 people who were all transferred to Faranah prison," Mamadou Lamarana Diallo,...

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