7 people killed by police gunfire in Guinea protests

An anti-govern­ment movement is planning new protests in Guinea after its leaders said at least seven people were killed and 32 wounded during demonstra­tions in the capital, Conakry, and other cities.

Police in riot gear cracked down on demonstrators who threw rocks and burned tyres on Wednesday during the latest in a series of protests against the military government, which seized power in 2021.

Small-scale protests also took place in Nzerekore, a city in the southeast, and in the central town of Dabola.

Opposition parties and civil society groups said in a joint state­ment that at least seven people had been shot dead and 32 others suffered gunshot wounds.

They said 56 arrests were reported and a second day of peaceful demonstrations would go ahead as planned on Thurs­day. The military rulers have not responded to the allegations.

There have been several pro­tests in Guinea since the army took power, some of which have turned deadly after clashes with heavy-handed security forces.

The military government is one of several in West Africa that took power in a string of coups since 2020 and is now dragging its feet on promises of elections.

Authorities in Guinea proposed a two-year transition to democracy in October, down from a three-year timeline earlier rejected by the regional political and economic bloc, the Economic Community of West African States.

Contract teachers in Guinea have taken to the streets and are threatening further strikes as they are growing frustrated over payment arrears and lack of inte­gration into the country’s public system.

Demonstrators protested on April 24-30 across parts of the West African state, according to French news outlet, RFI. Some of the teachers have reportedly not received their salaries for seven months, and the strike comes one month before students are due to take their end-of-year exams.

Last week, the Ministry of Territorial Administration and the Ministry of Pre-University Edu­cation announced the payment of salaries, though no date has yet been set, RFI reported.

However, the ministries have said teachers’ contracts must first be updated and fraudulent cases screened out. —Reuters

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