- Guinea’s Information Minister, Justin Morel, has said that 137 people were killed as a result of the violent strikes in the country, far more than unofficial figures. A total of 1,700 people were also wounded.
Since the January and February violent clashes ensued between strikers backed by unionist leader and armed security forces, there has not been any official death toll, resulting to speculations on the figure.
But according to Justin Morel, the new figures have been established by a government inquiry conducted by the ministries of Security and Interior.
Though the strikes have turned fatal, most Guineans said they have served their purpose because country's bed-ridden President Lansana Conté had finally bowed down to their key demands - power sharing and democratic reforms, among others demands.
The strikes resulted to the appointment of a consensus Prime Minister, Lansana Kouyaté, a seasoned diplomat and economist. Mr Kouyaté has formed a consensus government, which has added hope among majority of poor Guineans who have been yearning for development.
Now that a new government has been in place, Guinean activists have been joined by their colleagues abroad to pile pressures on the government to parade the security forces accused of killing people for merely exercising their democratic rights.
Already, some international civil liberty groups have filed a case against the sick Guinean President at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for ordering soldiers to kill, torture or persecute civilians.
A prominent trade unionist, Mrs Mariama Penda Diallo, told the freedom of expression festival in Burkina Faso that there is need for all stakeholders, particularly the media, to jointly monitor developments in Guinea.
“I call on you to help us in our struggle for justice, better life and development,” she said, paying glowing tributes to women and youths for standing firm in their quest to bring change to natural resources opulent west African country.
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