The West Africa state of Guinea continues to be under siege. A blanket curfew has now been partially lifted to allow residents to buy food. However, martial law, which was declared on Monday, remains in effect, despite international criticism. President Lansana Conte agreed to the military crackdown in a bid to stem violent clashes and put an end to calls for a general strike. Since January, more than a hundred people have died in protests against the veteran general’s 23 year rule.
Guinea is the world’s top bauxite, or aluminium ore, exporter and production has been affected by the unrest. The US is arranging to airlift its citizens to safety. The situation in the country is now calm. But analysts have warned that more fighting might trigger a civil war and further destabilise the already volatile region.
The authorities have invited the unions to restart talks later today in an attempt to end the political deadlock. But officials have demanded that martial law be lifted first.