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Page last updated at 14:48 GMT, Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Eyewitness: 'I'm afraid for Guinea'

An emergency has been declared in Guinea, following violent protests in which almost 100 people have died. The protests came during strikes called by unions who want President Lansana Conte to resign.

Student Amadou Barry, 18, told the BBC what is happening in Conakry.

It's really hot at the moment.

There are three truckloads of soldiers on the street corner near my house, so we're all staying inside because it's too dangerous to venture outside.

Soldiers have been posted to just about every street corner to frighten people.

If the soldiers see you outside, they will beat you up or even shoot you, so the streets are mostly deserted.

There are some protesters who go onto the streets when the soldiers move on.

The protesters try to block the roads with stones, burning cars and anything they can find, to stop the soldiers coming back.

Then they move up the road, trying to do the same thing again, while the soldiers take down the road blocks.

But some of the soldiers are wearing different uniforms from normal Guinean soldiers.

Some say they are Liberians rebels, who President Conte has called in to help him.

Coercion

The protesters have been forcing people to join the strike.

If they see you sitting down, they'll throw stones at you and make you join them.

Some businessmen have been shooting at looters.

All of the shops and markets are closed.

There are still a few people selling rice but it is very expensive.

If this strike continues much longer, there will be nothing left to eat.

On Monday, I saw lots of people shot - some died, while others were wounded.

Some of my friends were killed.

I am really upset and don't think there is much future left in Guinea now.

I think we need a real change - not just Conte but all of those people around him.

After they graduate, students cannot get jobs, they are forced to steal to survive.

I am really afraid. If this strike continues, there could be a civil war here.


video and audio news
The threat of civil war in Guinea



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