Guinea History

Guinea borders in the northwest on Guinea-Bissau, in the north on Senegal and Mali, in the southeast on the Republic of Ivory Coast, in the south on Liberia and Sierra Leone, in the west on the Atlantic Ocean.

Guinea is largely a mountain and table country. The old mountain massifs (Paleozoic sandstones) are preceded by a 50–90 km wide and 300 km long coastal strip on the Atlantic Ocean (Lower Guinea), interspersed with mangrove and palm swamps; The tides penetrate the numerous rivers 30–50 km inland. The country rises in stages to Fouta-Djalon (Central Guinea), where the rivers Gambia, Senegal, Niger and Konkouré have their source; the original vegetation (wet savannah, interspersed with trees) has given way to a treeless grass landscape through grazing and slash and burn.

With decreasing annual precipitation (from approx. 2,000 mm to approx. 1,500 mm), the Manding Plateau joins to the east with wide dry savannahs (Upper Guinea). In the southeast, Guinea extends into the zone of the tropical rainforest (forest region); in the border area with Liberia and the Republic of Ivory Coast, the Nimbaberge reach 1,752 m above sea level.


The most important pre-colonial state in what is now Guinea was founded in 1725 by the Islamic Fulbe in the highlands of Fouta-Djalon. After 1870 the city of Kankan was temporarily the residence of Samory Touré (* 1830, † 1900). In 1842 France enforced its rule on the coast and in 1882 extended it over the Fouta-Djalon without affecting the internal structure of the Fulbe state. From 1895 to 1958, Guinea was part of the Colonial Federation of French West Africa (AOF) in its current borders.

In 1952 Ahmed Sékou Touré (a great-great-grandson of Samory Touré ) took over the leadership of the Parti Démocratique de Guinée (PDG), the Guinean national group of the Rassemblement Démocratique Africain (RDA). Within a few years, the PDG / RDA, in conjunction with militant trade unions, became the leader of the anti-colonial movement. In 1956 Touré won a seat in the Paris National Assembly, and in 1957 he became the first head of government of the autonomous Guinea. He eliminated the administrative functions of the chiefs appointed by the colonial power ( chief ) and thereby gained full political control in 1958. On September 28, 1958, Guinea was the only French colony to vote with a large majority of the people against the draft constitution for the creation of the Communauté Française ( French Community ). Guinea immediately became independent, Touré became president of the republic; The PDG became the unity party.

When it was transformed into a unified party, the RDA, which was spread all over West Africa, broke up. In 1960 Guinea left the franc zone. As a result, it ran into considerable economic difficulties and tried to rely first on the ČSSR, and since 1961 on the Federal Republic of Germany and the USA. Relations with the USSR (expulsion of the ambassador in 1966), with the neighboring states (particularly Senegal and the Republic of Ivory Coast) and France (rapprochement since 1979) were marked by strong fluctuations. Touré, who always described his domestic and foreign policy as revolutionary, went with K. Nkrumah in his African regional policy until 1966, the President of Ghana, together; He mediated between the “progressive” (ie, the cooperation with the former colonial powers rejecting) states and the “moderate” (approving this cooperation) states of Africa and thus enabled the establishment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1963. The failure of a coup sponsored by Portugal on November 22, 1970 initiated bloody persecution of all opposition in Guinea and led to a break with the Federal Republic of Germany, which was blamed for the attempted coup. In May 1976 the Touré government suppressed a suspected “conspiracy” by the Fulbe, including the Minister of Justice and long-time Secretary General of the OAU, Diallo Telli (* 1925), was murdered. After death Tourés (1984) collapsed the political system he had created; Parliament was dissolved and a Military Committee for National Renewal (CMRN) took over; Colonel L. Conté became president. After a referendum (1990), the new constitution of the “Third Republic” of Guinea was promulgated (1991). This advocated the separation of powers, dissolved the CMRN and replaced it with the Transitional Committee for National Revitalization (CTRN), which established civilian rule.

In 1992, under public pressure, a multi-party system was guaranteed by law. In December 1993, violent circumstances took place, from which the incumbent Conté emerged victorious (re-election in 1998 and 2003). According to prozipcodes, in the parliamentary elections in 1995 and 2002, the President’s Party (PUP) won an absolute majority. In mid-2000 the conflict with Liberia intensified and the Guinean army advanced into Liberian territory. Both governments accused each other of supporting rebels directed against them. In this regard, President Conté called openly to persecute refugees from Sierra Leone and Liberia, of whom around 500,000 were living in Guinea at the time. Only after international mediation, v. a. through the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the conflict was gradually defused.

Guinea History

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