Friday 30 March 2007

Better news from Guinea

President Lansana Conté is still hanging on, but his new prime minister, Lansana Kouyaté, has been given a good slab of credit by most Guineans and it looks like a new government is about to be formed.

On the practical side, the British FCO advisory has been downgraded to "Advise against all but essential travel" which is staying on the safe side during an uncertain period, but which, from insurance purposes, seems to mean that essential travel will be covered. You'll need to contact your insurer directly about this, tell them the travel is essential, and that should clear it. On the ground, I've heard no reports of further confrontations between army and demonstrators and most people seem to be prepared to be patient again. But you need to keep a close eye on the news. Students at Labé University, in the Fouta Djalon (a region traditionally at odds with the Susu ruling elite in Conakry) have been out on strike for the last few days, protesting against a completely neglected education system. Protest is habit-forming, especially when fully justified.