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Guinea’s Youth Begin Five-Day Hunger Strike Wednesday

Various youth organizations in Guinea are scheduled to go on a five-day nationwide hunger strike beginning Wednesday to push the country's military leaders to resolve the political crisis.

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The youth say they want the military junta and the opposition to come up with a compromise about the way forward for the nation.

They expressed concern about the country's worsening political situation which the youth said led to the recent massacre of unarmed protesters.

Attorney Thierno Balde, one of the leading organizers of the hunger strike said that there would be another round of hunger strike if the country's leaders fail to come up with a compromising solution to the crisis.

"There are several youth from the Youth Federation of the Association of Guinea who are organizing a hunger strike. The objective of the hunger strike is to let all political leaders in Guinea (know) that we are concerned about the situation and we will like to have peace and stability in Guinea," Balde said.

He said all leaders should have an input in finding a solution to the crisis.

"In order to get peace, we have to have an agreement which involves all the parties and which satisfies all the parties involved," he said.

Balde called for an end to violence.

"We have to end violence and we have to have justice for all the victims," Balde said.

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He said the ongoing crisis needs a political solution.

"We are asking all people from Guinea that the situation is political not an ethnic problem and no one should really make it an ethnic (problem). It's a political situation (and) we have to find a political solution," he said.

Balde said the youth will petition the military junta as well as the opposition.

"Yes we have declared from which we made, and the declaration concerns not only the military but also the opposition. We are asking them to find an agreement on the basis of the recommendation, which we stated in our declaration," Balde said.

He said the youth is also asking for a unity government.

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"The main recommendation which we are asking is to set up a transitional entity which satisfy all the parties and which will be lead by a neutral personality," he said.

Balde said the youth will continue with the hunger strike until a solution to the crisis is found.

"If we don't get satisfaction we are going to organize this hunger strike not only here in Conakry, but all around the main cities in the country," Balde said.

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Meanwhile, union workers are also expected to begin a sit down strike Wednesday to press home their demand for a unity government to replace the military junta.