Workers’ protest in Guinea: The government must listen to the people, shun violence, and utilise genuine dialogue to address the impasse

Keywords : Declarations Human and trade union rights Guinea

The African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa has been following the development of the social situation in the Republic of Guinea with keen interest. It is with deep shock and profound sadness that we learned of the tragic killing of two youths in Conakry on Monday amidst the unfolding protests during the first day of an open-ended general strike. These deaths serve as a stark reminder of the grave challenges facing workers and people in Guinea as they are raising their voices in demand of fundamental rights and freedoms.

The general strike highlights critical issues, including releasing detained workers, soaring food prices, and ceasing censorship and internet interference. These are the elemental dignities that every individual deserves.
We strongly denounce the use of lethal force against peaceful protesters. The right to assemble, to express dissent, and to demand accountability from those in power are fundamental pillars of democracy that must be upheld and protected at all times. Workers can express their views on the country’s economic situation through peaceful demonstrations without intimidation, coercion, repression and violence.

Moreover, we are deeply troubled by the dissolution of the transitional government under mysterious circumstances, raising concerns about the stability and direction of governance in Guinea. Such developments only exacerbate tensions and sow further uncertainty, mistrust and erosion of confidence among the populace.
ITUC-Africa reiterates its call for the immediate release of detained workers and urges all parties involved to engage in meaningful dialogue to address the grievances of the Guinean people.

ITUC-Africa reiterates its support for a peaceful resolution that upholds the principles of justice, democracy, and human rights. Therefore, we urge Guinea’s government to negotiate with workers and their representatives to reach a consensus on this socio-political impasse.

As a mark of good faith, the Guinean military government must release all detained persons connected to the current impasse, including trade union leaders, unconditionally and refrain from further intimidation and harassment of voices of dissent. The government should investigate, prosecute, and sanction to deter impunity, persons that perpetrated that fatally attacked the protesters. We also urge the government to be more imaginative in engineering and deploying adequate cushioning arrangements against the biting inflation and worsening poverty.

Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives, and we extend our heartfelt condolences to them.

Akhator Joel ODIGIE
General Secretary

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