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Last Updated: Monday, 26 February 2007, 10:04 GMT
Guinea unions 'call off strike'
Workers celebrate as deal to halt Guinea strikes emerges
The deal emerged after days of intense negotiation
Trade union leaders in Guinea say they will suspend a long-running general strike after President Lansana Conte agreed to replace his prime minister.

The new PM is to be chosen from a list compiled by unions and the opposition.

The strike began more than six weeks ago, as unions demanded the appointment of an independent prime minister to carry out wide-ranging reforms.

Since then, more than 100 demonstrators have been shot dead by the security forces and martial law was imposed.

The deal to end the political crisis was struck after lengthy talks involving the unions, the president and West African mediators.

A union negotiator, Ibrahima Fofana, told AP news agency that although the strike would technically end at midnight on Sunday, Monday should be a day of prayer devoted to all those who died in the strike-related violence.

According to a statement read out by regional negotiator Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the unions "have decided to suspend the strike call across the whole national territory and they urge workers to go back to work on Tuesday, 27 February."

Guinea's parliament voted on Friday to reject the president's request for an extension of martial law.

Martial law was declared shortly after Mr Conte appointed a close aide of his, Eugene Camara, as prime minister on 9 February.

This proved so unpopular, unrest deteriorated. "Eugene Camara is no longer the prime minister," Mr Fofana said after the talks on Sunday.






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