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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 February 2007, 12:25 GMT
Guineans back to work after deal
Busy street scene in Guinea
Guineans returned to work after the appointment of a new PM
Guineans are returning to work after the trade unions and President Lansana Conte agreed on the ending of weeks of unrest and a damaging strike.

Ex-diplomat Lansana Kouyate was chosen as a new prime minister on Monday night from a list supplied by unions and the opposition after a deal at the weekend.

He replaces Eugene Camara - a close aide to the president whose appointment sparked the violence.

On Monday, commemoration services were held for the 110 victims of the unrest.

Upbeat mood

The BBC's Alhassan Sillah in Conakry says the streets of the capital are frenetic.

Lansana Kouyate
Lansana Kouyate was among the figures favoured by the unions

There is bumper-to-bumper traffic, with people scrambling to hail cabs and others rushing to banks to get money.

Our correspondent says the atmosphere, after the day of mourning on Monday for those who died in recent violence, is upbeat.

People feel as if all their demands have been met now that they have a new prime minister with more powers, he says.

Trade unions wanted an independent prime minister to carry out reforms, and President Lansana Conte agreed to end the crisis on Sunday.

Mr Kouyate is a former UN diplomat who one headed the Economic Union of West African States (Ecowas), a regional bloc.

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

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

According to a statement, the unions "decided to suspend the strike call across the whole national territory and they urge workers to go back to work on Tuesday, 27 February".

Martial law was declared shortly after Mr Conte appointed Mr Camara as prime minister on 9 February. This proved unpopular and unrest spread. Despite the deal, the unions stressed the strike could still resume.

"We have to be careful and let him know the pressure is constant," opposition spokesman Mamadou Ba told AFP news agency.

"He's not in the habit of letting his prime ministers do their job."

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