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Gabon Forestry, Water Professionals Suspend 2 Month-Old Strike

After two months of industrial action, Gabon’s National Syndicate of Forestry and Water Professionals (SYNAPEF) has suspended its strike that started in July.

The decision to suspend the action was arrived at on Thursday, September 3, with an agreement on Friday, September 4, between the union and the Ministry of Forestry and Water.

“Within this protocol, the titular ministry has agreed to respond concretely to the legitimate claims of the agents according to a precise arrangement [u1] in the very short and middle term,” SYNAPEF announced.

“The engagements agreed upon by the titular ministry are couched on the satisfaction of the claims of the agents, while the engagement of the social partner is to suspend the strike,” the National Syndicate of Forestry and Water declared.

The decision to suspend the strike was presented to the general assembly of SYNAPEF on September 3, 2020 in the Ministry of Forestry and Water.

“With an absolute majority by a show of hands, the agents decided to suspend the strike to enable them to appreciate the effectiveness of the engagements entered into by the titular ministry”, explained SYNAPEF.

The agreement effectively took place on September 4, 2020.

During the strike, agents of the Ministry of Forestry and Water were beaten by gendarmes on the orders of the Director of Cabinet of the minister of Forestry and Water.

Teargas was used against the striking workers causing burns and wounding several of the striking forestry and water workers, most of whom were hospitalised.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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