[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Thursday, 25 January 2007, 17:50 GMT
Offer fails to end Guinea strike
Protesters next to burning barricades
Monday's clashes left at least 33 people dead
The general strike in Guinea is continuing despite President Lansana Conte's offer to name a new prime minister - a key union demand.

Thousands of people have held protests in the eastern town of Kankan, reports the AFP news agency.

Talks are also continuing, focused on how much power the president would hand over to the prime minister.

Almost 60 people have died in 16 days of protests, organised by unions who say Mr Conte should step down.

Officials now say that at least 49 people were killed in the capital, Conakry on Monday - 16 more than were previously said to have died.

AFP says the authorities did not try to stop the Kankan march, while there are fewer police than in previous days on the streets of Conakry.

The talks are attended by trades union leaders, members of the Supreme Court and religious leaders.

Action

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

Guinea's President Lansana Conte

"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.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Violence on the streets of Guinea's capital



RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific