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Guinea Prime Minister Announces Deal with Mutinous Soldiers

As part of a deal to end two days of rioting, Guinea's prime minister has agreed to gradually pay soldiers eight years of back salary and release other soldiers who took place in a revolt last year. But there are some soldiers who say they worry that the promise of gradual repayment will not be kept.

Guinea's capital, Conakry, was calm, says local journalist Maseco Conde, after government officials agreed to the demands of rioting soldiers.

Junior officers in the Guinea military had rioted since Monday, demanding higher pay and the firing of Defense Minister Mamadou Bailo Diallo.

During Tuesday's negotiations, President Lansana Conte fired Diallo. New Prime Minister Ahmed Tidiane Souare said he will pay the soldiers about $1,100 apiece in back salary.

But journalist Conde says he spoke with some soldiers who say they do not trust the gradual payment, and preferred to be paid right now.

The rioting began in reaction to President Conte's firing of Prime Minister Lansana Kouyate.

Kouyate was appointed prime minister last year after deadly riots in Conakry caused more than 100 citizen deaths. When he took office he said he would work to increase military salaries.

During this week's riots, at least two civilians were wounded by stray bullets.

The West African nation has vast mineral resources, such as bauxite, timber and diamonds, but Guinea is consistently ranked as one of the poorest countries in the world.