Guinea's capital Conakry paralysed by general strike

CONAKRY, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Streets were empty and businesses shut on Monday in Guinea's capital Conakry, as workers including miners began a nationwide strike for higher wages and other demands.

The West African country is run by a military junta that seized power in a 2021 coup, which has quashed recurring anti-government protests, sometimes violently, in the last few years.

The Guinean Trade Union Movement, an umbrella group for multiple workers' unions, announced the general strike in a statement last week, saying it would be indefinite and would include the public, private and informal sectors.

Its demands include the release of the Secretary General of the Union of Press Professionals of Guinea, who has been jailed, the lowering of food prices, the lifting of internet restrictions, and the application of a wage deal reached with the government in November.

Guinea is the world's second-largest bauxite producer. Traders said alumina prices in China were trading higher due to the strike, but the impact for now was limited because of Chinese inventories of bauxite.

In Conakry most businesses were shut, including banks, and normally bustling markets were deserted. Security forces were deployed at major intersections where traffic had dropped significantly.

(Reporting by Saliou Samb; Additional reporting by Pratima Desai; Writing by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Jan Harvey)


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