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Guinea: Opposition calls for general strike over high cost of living

Guinea: Opposition calls for general strike over high cost of living


Guinea’s opposition has called on a nationwide industrial action for Wednesday and Thursday, to protest against the high cost of living and the government’s refusal to cut down fuel prices, BBC reports.

Reports say that in the country’s capital, Conakry, there is little traffic in some opposition areas, but it is still too early to gauge the impact of the strike, after the opposition leaders urged Guineans to remain at home and not to engage in any acts of vandalism.

The Guinean government on its part said that the opposition’s demands to slash fuel prices were unrealistic and could not be met, citing that the country’s economy was devastated by the Ebola outbreak.

In February a similar general strike in the west African country lasted five days, as workers agitated for several demands.

Workers in the crucial bauxite mining sector, which provides 80 percent of the country’s foreign exchange earnings, had begun to join the strike, a move that probably forced Alpha Konde’s government to listen to the demands.

Tens of thousands of workers took part in the strike action that closed factories, shops, banks and offices in the capital Conakry and other major towns.

The recent dip in oil prices has squeezed economies worldwide, and even pirates have felt the heat. Analysts say that oil theft off the coast of West Africa has fallen, and that low oil prices mean piracy is no longer profitable.

The calls from Guinean opposition comes just a day after Congo-Brazzaville’s opposition candidates called for a similar protest, when they urged the public to observe a “ville morte”, which literally means “ghost town” to cease all activities, in protests of president Denis Sassou Nguesso’s re-election.