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Guinea junta appoints Mamadou Oury Bah as new prime minister

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Former Guinean opposition leader Mamadou Oury Bah has been appointed prime minister by the country’s military junta, a week after it abruptly dissolved the government.

His appointment comes amid growing dissatisfaction with the junta.

Two people were killed on Monday after police clashed with protesters during a nationwide workers’ strike.

Trade unions have been demanding lower food prices as Guineans struggle with the high cost of living.

Mr Bah, popularly known in Guinea as Bah Oury, has urged the unions to call off the strike and “highlight what we can do together to solve the big challenges gradually, step by step”.

The trained economist is expected to not only set up a new government to replace the one that was dismissed, but also take steps to alleviate the economic hardships facing millions of Guineans.

The swearing-in of the new prime minister was witnessed by interim President Mamady Doumbouya, who led Guinea’s armed forces to overthrow elected President Alpha Condé in September 2021.

Mr Bah, 65, has been a popular fixture in Guinean politics since the early 1990s. He served as minister of reconciliation in a consensus government formed in 2007.

He spent four years in exile in France after he was implicated in a 2011 attack on President Condé’s home, but returned home in 2016 after the president pardoned him.

Guinea is expected to hold elections to restore democratic rule in 10 months, when the 24-month transition period set by the junta and regional bloc Ecowas expires.