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Last Updated: Friday, 9 February 2007, 22:15 GMT
Guinea's leader appoints new PM
Guineans on the streets of Conakry
Most shops and offices closed during the strike
Guinea's president has named a new prime minister, meeting a trade union deadline to avoid renewed strikes.

The announcement ahead of Sunday's deadline came hours after youths rioted in two towns.

In Duinguiraye, some 500km north-east of the capital, Conakry, students set fire to buildings and vehicles. There were also riots in the town of Koyah.

Unions only ended an 18-day strike last month, when Lansana Conte agreed to hand powers to a prime minister.

The protesters have been demanding that the president steps down.

Suspicious

Conakry itself is calm, but many are wondering if this is the calm before the storm and a second demonstration of the people's power, says the BBC's Will Ross, in the city.

There was no immediate word whether Eugene Camara's nomination as prime minister would be accepted by the unions.

Our reporter says they are suspicious that any close ally of President Conte would still be under his control.

Mr Camara had been in government as the minister for presidential affairs.

Some 60 people died during the recent strikes, called over falling living standards and alleged mismanagement.

The deaths came after security forces opened fire on protesters as they were trying to march to the centre of the capital, Conakry, witnesses and unionists say.

Accusations

The BBC's Alhassan Sillah in Conakry says the government has kept its promise to lower the price of rice and fuel but the naming of the prime minister is seen as the main point of the agreement.

The president seized power in a 1984 coup but has since won three elections.

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

This was the third general strike in a year.


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