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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 January 2007, 02:09 GMT
Guinea leader 'cedes key demand'
Protesters next to burning barricades
Monday's clashes left at least 33 people dead
Guinea's President Lansana Conte has agreed to name a new prime minister - one of the key demands of trade unions to end a general strike, mediators say.

They say he made the concession at talks attended by trade union leaders, members of the Supreme Court and religious leaders.

But the trade unions say the strike, that began on 10 January, will continue until all their demands are met.

On Monday at least 33 people died in clashes between police and protestors.

Etienne Leno, one of the religious leaders who met Mr Conte on Wednesday, told Reuters news agency that the president was ready to listen to the people.

Map of Guinea

"He is even in agreement that, if the people want one, there should be a new prime minister," Mr Leno said.

"Now we must find a credible candidate."

But the trade unions said they wanted first to see concrete action from President Conte before ending the strike.

"The people of Guinea do not want any more promises. They want something concrete," said Abdoulaye Sow, one of the leaders of the Syndicated Union of Workers of Guinea (USTG).

"It is an agreement in principle. Now it is necessary to put it into practice," he said.

There is no word from the government on the outcome of the talks.

Mr Conte seized power in a 1984 coup but has since won three elections.

The strikers accuse Mr Conte, who is his 70s and suffers from diabetes, of mismanaging the economy and personally securing the release from prison of two men accused of corruption.

This is the third general strike in a year.


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Violence on the streets of Guinea's capital



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