News24

Guinea mourns union leader

2010-04-19 18:05

Conakry - Thousands of Guineans turned out on Monday for the funeral of Ibrahima Fofana, the head of one of the country's biggest labour unions, and three others killed with him in a car crash.

The authorities declared Monday a public holiday to allow people to pay homage to Fofana, of the Union of Workers of Guinea, and another union leader, Magbe Bangoura.

Two state television journalists were killed with them in Friday's accident.

Banners draped over the railings of the labour exchange paid tribute to Fofana, who was 57 and had been presented as a possible independent candidate in the west African country's June 27 presidential election.

The trade union leader shot to prominence in 2006 and 2007 during huge demonstrations against the regime of the late strongman Lansana Conte, who ruled from 1984 to 2008.

After Conte died and a military regime stepped in, Fofana was a leading member of the Forum of Active Forces, a coalition of parties, trade unions and civil associations that contested the junta's rule.

After lying in state at the Palace of the People (the dissolved national assembly), the bodies were to be taken to the Faycal mosque for prayers before being buried in a nearby cemetery.