Guinea History

Guinea History

Probably the rainforest areas in today’s Republic of Guinea were populated by pygmies who lived as hunters and gatherers before the Christian era. In the first millennium AD various cattle breeding and migrant farming tribes immigrated and settled the area. Large parts of the country were temporarily under the influence of the western Sudanese empire Gana, which continued until the 9th century AD. Endured. In the 13th century, the east of today’s Guinea belonged to the Islamic Kingdom of Mali (now the Republic of Mali), which lost influence in the 15th century.

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In the mid-15th century, the coast of Guinea was discovered by Portuguese seafarers who, over the next few decades, set up isolated branches along the coast but did not advance inland.

In the 16th century, members of the nomadic Fulbe migrated from the north and settled mainly in the Fouta Djalon mountains. They founded an Islamic state here, some of which extended into what is now Mali.

The clashes between the two European colonial powers Great Britain and France over the areas in West Africa began in the second half of the 19th century. France was able to assert itself in Guinea and began settling in the coastal region. According to AbbreviationFinder, around the same time, a Malinke empire formed under the leadership of Samori Ture (Samory Tour¨¦) on the course of the upper Niger near the present-day city of Kankan, which had succeeded in uniting previously hostile tribes. In contrast to the Fulbe chiefs, who concluded protectorate contracts with the French, the Malinke in the northeast successfully resisted the advancing French troops.

In 1882 the French founded the “Rivi¨¨res du Sud” colony, and in 1891 it was combined with the hinterland of what is now Guinea to form the French Guinea colony. A year earlier, the troops of Malinke Samory Tour¨¦s had been smashed and forced to sign a “friendship contract”.

In 1895 French Guinea was annexed to the General Government “Afrique Occidentale Française” (AOF / French West Africa). A little later, the French started building a railway line between the port city of Conakry and Kankan inland.

After the end of World War II, political and trade union organizations formed in Guinea. In 1947 S¨¦kou Tour¨¦, a grandson of the Malinke resistance fighter, was involved in the founding of the left-wing “Parti D¨¦mocratique de Guin¨¦e” (PDG), as well as a year earlier in the independence movement “Rassemblement D¨¦mocratique Africain” (RDA). In 1952 Tour¨¦ became chairman of the PDG.

In 1957, French Guinea was granted internal autonomy. The popular PDG won the first elections to the state parliament based in Conakry. S¨¦kou Tour¨¦ became the country’s first prime minister. A year later, Guinea was the only French colonial in West Africa to refuse to join the “Communaut¨¦ Française” in a popular referendum, and declared its independence as the Republic of Guinea in October 1958. As a result, the former colonial power removed all of its inventory including existing industrial facilities and specialists from Guinea and ceased all financial support for the country, which led to serious economic problems in Guinea.

Tour¨¦ subsequently sought the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc countries. His leadership style became increasingly authoritarian, the ruling party PDG developed into a unity party. In 1961 Tour¨¦ also took over the office of President and was able to further expand his position of power. Threatened by drastic “cleansing measures”, more than two million people left Guinea by 1970, including countless intellectuals and opposition politicians.

Guinea founded the “Union of African States” together with Mali and Ghana in July 1961 white minority governments.

In the first half of the 1970s, after several unsuccessful coup attempts against S¨¦kou Tour¨¦, the army and party were cleaned up again. Due to the poor economic situation in the country, Tour¨¦ tried to re-establish relations with the former colonial power France and also to establish economic contacts with the other western industrial nations.

The dictator died in 1984, and after a bloodless coup d’¨¦tat, the military, led by Colonel Lansana Cont¨¦, took over. The ruling party PDG was dissolved and the re-privatization of the companies nationalized by Tour¨¦ began. In a referendum in December 1990, the people of Guinea voted in favor of a new constitution that included a civilian government and a multi-party system. At the end of 1991 the new constitution came into force and political parties were founded which were only approved by the head of state after increased internal political pressure. Relevant groups were above all the “Parti de l’Unit¨¦ et du Progr¨¨s” (PUP) by Lansana Cont¨¦ and “Rassemblement du Peuple Guin¨¦en” (RPG) under the leadership of Alpha Cond¨¦.

It wasn’t until December 1993 that the first free presidential election took place in Guinea. Head of state and government Lansana Cont¨¦ was confirmed in office with over 50% of the votes cast. The opposition (challenger Alpha Cond¨¦ and the RPG) accused the government of electoral fraud. The parliamentary elections had to be postponed several times due to failed coup attempts against Cont¨¦ and serious riots and only took place in June 1995. The governing “Parti de l’unit¨¦ et du progr¨¨s” (PUP) by head of state Lansana Cont¨¦ won the majority of seats in parliament.

In 1998, Lansana Cont¨¦ was re-elected in the presidential election, again the opposition spoke of massive electoral fraud. When the leading opposition politicians Alpha Cond¨¦ and Mamadou Bah were arrested a year later, there was serious unrest across the country. Cond¨¦ was released from custody in May 2001.

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From September 2000, border conflicts with the neighboring civil war countries Sierra Leone and Liberia increased due to attacks by guerrilla organizations. The work of the international aid organizations operating in Guinea, which cared for the refugees from Sierra Leone and Liberia in Guinea (an estimated 450,000), which was severely affected. Despite various meetings between politicians from Liberia and Guinea, the relationship between the two countries has not improved.

The Cont¨¦ PUP won by a clear majority in the parliamentary elections held at the end of June 2002 with a delay of two years (they were postponed several times by President Cont¨¦ because of a rebellion). The leader of the opposition party “Rassemblement du Peuple Guin¨¦en” (RPG), Alpha Cond¨¦, had been excluded from the election on charges of conspiracy; the opposition therefore spoke of electoral fraud. President Lansana Cont¨¦ was confirmed in the 2003 presidential election with 95.6% of the vote for another term. Most opposition parties boycotted the election.

A general strike in January 2007, which paralyzed public life for weeks, called for the resignation of the autocratically ruling and now seriously ill president. When the violence escalated and the mass protest started to spread to the popular uprising, Cont¨¦ appointed his closest confidante, Eug¨¨ne Camara, as the new head of government. After further riots, which claimed many lives, Cont¨¦ declared the state of emergency. Finally he withdrew Camara’s appointment and appointed diplomat Lansana Kouyat¨¦ as the new Prime Minister. However, the hope of the population for reforms and an improvement in living conditions associated with Kouyat¨¦ was not fulfilled; unrest continued due to food, energy and water shortages, strengthened after Kouyat¨¦ was replaced as Prime Minister by Ahmed Tidiane Souar¨¦ in May 2008. Souar¨¦ belonged to the president ‘

Cont¨¦ remained president until his death on December 22, 2008. The military took the lead a few hours after his death. After that, a National Council was founded, which Eug¨¨ne Camara was to lead until new elections would take place. In 2009, however, Camara was the victim of an attack and was seriously injured. After that, he was effectively disempowered. His deputy took over the official business and changed the course. A new constitution was promulgated in May 2010 and the first round of presidential elections took place a month later. The run-off elections were then postponed for several months. Since December 2010 Alpha Cond¨¦ has been President of Guinea with 52.5% of the vote. This is the first time the country has a democratically elected president.

Guinea President