G.Bissau paralysed by transport strike

BISSAU — A transport strike paralysed much of Guinea Bissau on Tuesday, forcing residents to treck into work by foot, as taxi drivers stayed off the roads to protest police extortion.

Almost all urban and inter-city taxis took part in the first day of the three-day strike, according to an AFP correspondent in the capital Bissau, while there was a similar protest in other cities.

The taxi drivers’ union, which has around 4,000 members, said it was taking action to protest against “police extortion,” but also against the levels of bureaucracy imposed by the mayor of the capital and the transport ministry.

“We pay all of our taxes regularly, but this did not protect us from the police racketeering,” Braima Sane, president of the union, told AFP.

“We have been searching in vain for a compromise with the authorities … but this time we are determined to go ahead.”

Seme said that the drivers’ union had set up an emergency hotline to enable anyone who is sick or injured to be taken to hospital as there is no ambulance service in the impoverished west African state.
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