Protests over teachers' strike turn deadly in Guinea

At least five people killed and 30 wounded in Conakry demonstrations sparked by a teachers' strike, the government says.

    At least five people have been killed in Guinea's capital, Conakry, in protests sparked by a teachers' strike, according to the government, reviving labour tensions in a country where previous strikes have led to dozens of deaths.

    Guinea's main teachers' unions launched the strike on February 1 to protest at the government's decision to dismiss or cut the salaries of many junior teachers after the latest civil service exams.

    Many of their pupils have taken to the streets in recent days to support them.

    Beginning early on Monday morning, unidentified assailants attacked a police station and demonstrators clashed with security forces in several districts of Conakry, witnesses told the Reuters news agency.

    "By midday, these demonstrations had unfortunately caused the deaths of at least five people," the government said in a statement, calling the protest "illegal and forbidden".

    The statement added that 30 people had been injured, including members of the security forces, and 12 arrested.

    Demand for higher salaries

    The two largest teacher trade unions have been on strike for weeks, demanding higher salaries and the resumption of work by contracted teachers, who are not full-time. The government, they say, is not meeting their demands.

    The unions said their strike will continue until a pay rise of between 7.5 to 10.3 percent is met.

    Later on Monday, the government said a deal had been struck to end the teachers' strike but that could not be immediately confirmed.

    General strikes about 10 years ago caused major disruptions in Guinea, which has around a third of the world's reserves of bauxite, used to make aluminium.

    The subsequent crackdown led by security forces led to the deaths of 135 people.

    SOURCE: News agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.