|THE GUINEA COAT OF ARMS|
Guinea Map Locator of Guinea within the continent of Africa
Map of Guinea
Flag Description Guinea: three equal vertical bands of red (hoist side), yellow, and green; red represents the people's sacrifice for liberation and work; yellow stands for the sun, for the riches of the earth, and for justice; green symbolizes the country's vegetation and unity uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia; the colors from left to right are the reverse of those on the flags of neighboring Mali and Senegal
note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia; the colors from left to right are the reverse of those on the flags of neighboring Mali and Senegal
Official name République de Guinée (Republic of Guinea)
Form of government republic1 with one legislative house (National Assembly2 )
Head of state President: Alpha Condé
Head of government Prime Minister: Mohamed Said Fofana
Official language French
Official religion none
Monetary unit Guinean franc (FG)
Population (2013 est.) 10,754,000COLLAPSE
Total area (sq mi) 94,926
Total area (sq km) 245,857
Urban-rural population Urban: (2011) 35.4%
Rural: (2011) 64.6%
Life expectancy at birth Male: (2012) 56.6 years
Female: (2012) 60.2 years
Literacy: percentage of population age 15 and over literate Male: (2010) 52%
Female: (2010) 30%
GNI per capita (U.S.$) (2012) 460
1A transitional government was designated on May 11, 2012, in the aftermath of a military coup on April 12, 2012; power was transferred to a democratically elected government on June 23, 2014.
Guinea has had a history of authoritarian rule since gaining its independence from France in 1958. Lansana CONTE came to power in 1984 when the military seized the government after the death of the first president, Sekou TOURE. Guinea did not hold democratic elections until 1993 when Gen. CONTE (head of the military government) was elected president of the civilian government. He was reelected in 1998 and again in 2003, though all the polls were marred by irregularities. History repeated itself in December 2008 when following President CONTE's death, Capt. Moussa Dadis CAMARA led a military coup, seizing power and suspending the constitution. His unwillingness to yield to domestic and international pressure to step down led to heightened political tensions that culminated in September 2009 when presidential guards opened fire on an opposition rally killing more than 150 people, and in early December 2009 when CAMARA was wounded in an assassination attempt and evacuated to Morocco and subsequently to Burkina Faso. A transitional government led by Gen. Sekouba KONATE held democratic elections in 2010 and Alpha CONDE was elected president in the country's first free and fair elections since independence. CONDE in July 2011 survived an attack on his residence allegedly perpetrated by the military. In October 2012, he announced a cabinet reshuffle that removed three members of the military from their positions, making the current administration Guinea's first all-civilian government.
Guinea, country of western Africa, located on the Atlantic coast. Three of western Africa’s major rivers—the Gambia, the Niger, and the Sénégal—rise in Guinea. Natural resources are plentiful: in addition to its hydroelectric potential, Guinea possesses a large portion of the world’s bauxite reserves and significant amounts of iron, gold, and diamonds. Nonetheless, the economy is largely based on subsistence agriculture.
Guinea, under the name French Guinea, was a part of French West Africa until it achieved independence in 1958. It then was ruled successively by Sékou Touré (1958–84) and Lansana Conté (1984–2008), the latter of whom claimed power through a military coup. During the 1990s Guinea accommodated several hundred thousand war refugees from neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone, and conflicts between those countries and Guinea have continued to flare up over the refugee population. Following Conté’s death, a military junta took control of the country and suspended the constitution that had been adopted in 1991. The national capital of Conakry lies on Tombo (Tumbo) Island and spreads up the Camayenne (Kaloum) Peninsula; it is the country’s main port.
Geography of Guinea
Guinea is bordered by Guinea-Bissau to the northwest, Senegal to the north, Mali to the northeast, Côte d’Ivoire to the southeast, and Liberia and Sierra Leone to the south. The Atlantic Ocean lies to the west.
Guinea consists of four geographic regions: Lower Guinea, the Fouta Djallon, Upper Guinea, and the Forest Region, or Guinea Highlands. Lower Guinea includes the coast and coastal plain. The coast has undergone recent marine submergence and is marked by rias, or drowned river valleys, that form inlets and tidal estuaries. Numerous offshore islands are remnants of former hills.
Immediately inland the gently rolling coastal plain rises to the east, being broken by rocky spurs of the Fouta Djallon highlands in the north at Cape Verga and in the south at the Camayenne Peninsula. Between 30 and 50 miles (48 and 80 km) wide, the plain is wider in the south than the north. Its base rocks of granite and gneiss (coarse-grained rock containing bands of minerals) are covered with laterite (red soil with a high content of iron oxides and aluminum hydroxide) and sandstone gravel.
The Fouta Djallon highlands rise sharply from the coastal plain in a series of abrupt faults. More than 5,000 square miles (13,000 square km) of the highlands’ total extent of 30,000 square miles (78,000 square km) lie above 3,000 feet (900 metres). Basically an enormous sandstone block, the Fouta Djallon consists of level plateaus broken by deeply incised valleys and dotted with sills and dikes, or exposed structures of ancient volcanism resulting in resistant landforms of igneous rock. The Kakoulima Massif, for example, attains 3,273 feet (998 metres) northeast of Conakry. The highest point in the highlands, Mount Tamgué, rises to 5,046 feet (1,538 metres) near the town of Mali in the north.
Upper Guinea is composed of the Niger Plains, which slope northeastward toward the Sahara. The flat relief is broken by rounded granite hills and outliers of the Fouta Djallon. Composed of granite, gneiss, schist (crystalline rock), and quartzite, the region has an average elevation of about 1,000 feet (300 metres).
The Forest Region, or Guinea Highlands, is a historically isolated area of hills in the country’s southeastern corner. Mount Nimba (5,748 feet [1,752 metres]), the highest mountain in the region, is located at the borders of Guinea, Liberia, and Côte d’Ivoire. The mountain’s densely forested slopes are part of the Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve, which has significant portions in Guinea. The Guinean sector was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981 and is home to a unique and diverse array of flora and fauna. The rocks of this region are of the same composition as those of Upper Guinea.
Drainage and soils
More than 20 rivers in western Africa originate in Guinea. The Fouta Djallon is the source of the three major rivers of the region. The Niger River and several tributaries, including the Tinkisso, Milo, and Sankarani, rise in the highlands and flow in a general northeasterly direction across Upper Guinea to Mali. The Bafing and Bakoye rivers, headwaters of the Sénégal River, flow northward into Mali before uniting to form the main river. The Gambia River flows northwestward before crossing Senegal and The Gambia.
The Fouta Djallon also gives rise to numerous smaller rivers, including the Fatala, Konkouré, and Kolenté, which flow westward across the coastal plain to enter the Atlantic Ocean. The Forest Region generally drains to the southwest through Sierra Leone and Liberia. The Saint Paul River enters the Atlantic at Monrovia, in Liberia, and the Moa River has its mouth at Sulima, in Sierra Leone.
The most common soils found in Guinea are laterites formed of iron and hydrated aluminum oxides and other materials that often concretize into hard iron-rich conglomerates. Sandy brown soils predominate in the northeast, while black, heavy clay soils accumulate in the backwaters along the coast. There are alluvial soils along the major rivers. Soil conservation is extremely important, because most soils are thin and rainfall heavy, causing much erosion.
The climate of Guinea is tropical with two alternating seasons—a dry season (November through March) and a wet season (April through October). The arrival of the migratory intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) in June brings the heaviest rainfall of the wet season. As the ITCZ shifts southward in November, the hot, dry wind known as the harmattan blows from the northeast off the Sahara.
On the coast a period of six months of dry weather is followed by six months of rain. The average rainfall at Conakry is about 170 inches (4,300 mm) a year, and the average annual temperatures are in the low 80s F (about 27 °C).
In the Fouta Djallon, January afternoon temperatures range from the mid-80s to the mid-90s F (about 30 to 35 °C), while evening temperatures dip into the high 40s and low 50s F (about 8 to 11 °C). Rainfall varies between 60 and 90 inches (1,500 and 2,300 mm) annually, and the average annual temperatures there are in the mid-70s F (about 25 °C).
In Upper Guinea rainfall drops to about 60 inches (1,500 mm) a year. During the dry season temperatures of more than 100 °F (38 °C) are common in the northeast.
In the Forest Region at Macenta there may be some 100 or more inches (2,540 mm) of rain annually. Only the months of December, January, and February are relatively dry, with possible rainfall of only 1 inch (25 mm). At low elevations, temperatures resemble those of the coastal areas.
Plant and animal life
The coast is fringed with mangrove trees, and the coastal plain supports stands of oil palms. The Fouta Djallon is mostly open, with trees growing along the wider stream valleys. Badiar National Park, which is administered jointly with Niokolo-Koba National Park in southeastern Senegal, contains savanna and forest. In Upper Guinea the savanna grassland supports several species of tall grasses that reach heights of 5 to 10 feet (1.5 to 3 metres) during the rainy season. Deciduous trees grow in scattered clumps, but few have commercial value; baobabs and shea trees furnish fruit and oil. Many of the dry woodlands of the region are protected in Haut Niger National Park, located in the centre of the country. The Forest Region contains several extensive patches of rainforest, with teak, mahogany, and ebony trees; agriculture, however, has diminished the forests and resulted in a shift largely toward open savanna.
Guinea is not rich in African big game. Baboons and hyenas are common, while an occasional wild boar, several types of antelope, and a rare leopard may be sighted. A few hippopotamuses and manatees inhabit the rivers of both Lower and Upper Guinea. Monkeys, chimpanzees, and some rare bird species can be found in the southern portion of the Forest Region, near the Liberian border. Poisonous snakes include mambas, vipers, and cobras, and there are pythons and a variety of harmless snakes. Crocodiles and several varieties of fish are found in most rivers.
Demography of Guinea
- Ethnic and linguistic groups
Guinea-Bissau’s population is dominated by more than 20 African ethnicities, including the Balante, one of the largest ethnic groups in the country, the numerous Fulani and their many subgroups, the Diola, the Nalu, the Bijagó, the Landuma, the Papel (Pepel), and the Malinke. There is also a small Cape Verdean minority with mixed African, European, Lebanese, and Jewish origins. During the colonial period the European population consisted mainly of Portuguese but also included some Lebanese, Italian, French, and English groups, as well as members of other nationalities. Notably, there was never a substantial settler population in Guinea-Bissau, as there was in other Portuguese colonies.
Among the African languages spoken in Guinea-Bissau, some 20 languages and dialects classified in the Atlantic and Mande branches of Niger-Congo languages predominate. Although Portuguese is the country’s official and formal language, it is Crioulo—a creole that emerged during the slave trade—that is spoken as the lingua franca and exerts a unifying influence in the rural areas.
About half the population practice traditional beliefs, which include ancestor worship, possession, and animism and are especially prevalent along the coast and in the central regions. About two-fifths of the population are Muslim; among Christians, who make up almost one-tenth of the population, Roman Catholicism predominates. Christianity and Islam are enriched with African traditional beliefs, which results in a unique religious syncretism; saints’ days, for example, may be celebrated with drumming, processionals, masks, and traditional dance.
- Settlement patterns
Most of the population of Guinea-Bissau live in small villages and the country’s several main towns. The population is sparse on the low-lying lands of the coast and in the savanna regions. The majority of Guinea-Bissau’s population traditionally lived in rural villages and individual households. From 1963 to 1974, during the armed struggle for independence, about one-third of the rural population fled to neighbouring countries for refuge. Those who remained tried to restructure their lives in liberated zones, while the colonial military imposed a system of aldeamentos, concentrated settlements designed to isolate the population from the nationalist forces. Although migration to urban centres such as Bissau, Cacheu, and Bolama had generally been increasing since independence, much of the urban population fled during the fighting that erupted in the late 1990s.
- Demographic trends
Population growth in Guinea-Bissau is lower than that of the rest of the African continent. Life expectancy for both men and women is well below the African average and substantially lower than the world average, and infant mortality is high. The population of Guinea-Bissau is, on the whole, very young: more than two-fifths of the population are under age 15, and more than two-thirds are under 30. The majority of the population are rural; only about one-third are urban.
Guinea-Bissau does not have a significant expatriate population living outside the country, except those in the neighbouring countries of Guinea and Senegal. Historically, the only traditional pattern of emigration was due to human trafficking; during the 15th through 19th centuries, thousands of Guineans were exported to Cape Verde and the New World, especially to Cuba and the northern Brazilian states of Grão Pará and Maranhão, as slaves or indentured servants.
Economy of Guinea
The economy of Guinea-Bissau includes a mixture of state-owned and private companies. Plans for industrial development have been reduced, and those supporting agriculture have been increased. The number of state-owned businesses declined significantly after the government adopted a liberal free-market economy in 1987, as endorsed by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
Guinea-Bissau is easily self-sufficient in food production, and the majority of labour is devoted to agriculture at the subsistence level; some crops are raised for export. Various small-scale industries and services also generate a part of the gross national product. Because of a variety of damaging factors—including an exploitative colonial inheritance, war damage, inflation, debt service, corruption, subsidization, poor planning, civil disorder, and mismanagement—the economy has fallen far short of its promise, resulting in a protracted negative balance of trade and Guinea-Bissau’s status as one of the world’s poorest countries. Various foreign aid and loan programs have been sought to address this deficit.
- Agriculture, forestry, and fishing
The economy is largely agricultural, with good prospects for forestry and fishery development. Foods produced for local consumption include rice, vegetables, beans, cassava (manioc), potatoes, palm oil, and peanuts (groundnuts). Livestock includes pigs, goats, sheep, cattle, and poultry. Fish and shrimp, raised for both domestic consumption and export, are also important. Guinea-Bissau is heavily forested, with forest cover on about three-fifths of its land. Most wood harvests are used for domestic fuel, but the country exports small amounts of sawn wood. The export of commercial items such as cashews, palm products, rice, peanuts, timber, and cotton has long played an important role in the country’s economy.
Large portions of land are not cultivated, because of both the traditional crop rotation practice of slash-and-burn agriculture as well as a lack of agricultural credit and investment due to the political and military conditions.
- Resources and power
There has not been a comprehensive survey of mineral resources, but large deposits of bauxite in the east along the Guinean border and phosphates in the centre and northwest have been found. Offshore petroleum and gold are additional assets that could be developed more fully with improved infrastructure.
As a low-lying country with a pronounced rainy season, Guinea-Bissau has plenty of water for subsistence and commercial agriculture and human consumption, although water quality and water delivery systems still need improvement. The Corubal River has immense hydroelectric potential, particularly at the Saltinho Rapids.
Manufacturing in Guinea-Bissau is founded chiefly upon artisanal industries such as basketry, blacksmithing, tanning, and tailoring. Only a few small-scale industries exist; these include food processing, brewing, and the processing of cotton, timber, and other goods. Much of Guinea-Bissau’s industrial capacity was damaged during the conflict of the late 1990s.
- Finance and trade
A major restructure of Guinea-Bissau’s banking system that began in 1989 replaced the National Bank of Guinea-Bissau with separate institutions including a central bank, a commercial bank, and a national credit bank. Guinea-Bissau joined the West African Economic and Monetary Union and the Franc Zone in 1997, and the Guinean peso was eventually replaced by the CFA (Communauté Financière Africaine) franc after the two currencies coexisted for several months. The role of the central bank was taken over by the Central Bank of West African States, which is based in Dakar, Seneg. Participation in the banking system among Guineans is very low, and only a fraction maintain bank accounts.
During the colonial period Portugal was by far Guinea-Bissau’s most important trading partner. Although Portugal retained a significant role after independence, Guinea-Bissau maintains important trade relationships with Senegal and Italy, from which Guinea-Bissau receives the majority of its imports, as well as with India and Nigeria, which are recipients of most of its exports.
- Labour and taxation
Some three-fourths of the labour force is engaged in agricultural production. Workers are permitted to join labour unions; of those who are union members, the vast majority are government or parastatal (government-owned enterprise) employees. The majority of the country’s tax revenue is earned through tax levied on international trade transactions, income taxes, and general sales taxes.
- Transportation and telecommunications
The transportation system in Guinea-Bissau is generally poor because of inadequacies with bridges, connecting services, and maintenance. Some roads in Guinea-Bissau are paved for all-weather use, but most of the country is served by unpaved roadways. Many households and hamlets are accessible only by footpaths and canoes. There are no railways.
The airport at Bissau handles international air traffic, while several smaller airports and landing strips serve the inner portions of the country. Shipping and ferry services connect the sea and river ports along the coast with the interior. The country’s main port is located at Bissau.
Government and Soceity of Guinea
- Constitutional framework
For more than 25 years under Pres. Sékou Touré, Guinea was a one-party state ruled by the Democratic Party of Guinea (Parti Démocratique de Guinée; PDG). In April 1984, after Touré’s death, a military group led by Lansana Conté abolished the PDG and all associated revolutionary committees and replaced them with the Military Committee for National Recovery (Comité Militaire de Redressement National; CMRN). A new constitution in 1991 began a transition to civilian rule. It provided for a civilian president and a unicameral legislature, the National Assembly; both the president and the legislators were to be elected by universal suffrage for five-year terms. Political parties were legalized in 1992, and Guinea’s first multiparty elections, in which Conté was elected president, were held in 1993. Conté was reelected in 1998 and 2003. (A national referendum in 2001 amended the constitution to extend the presidential term from five to seven years and to allow for unlimited presidential terms.)
After Conté’s death on Dec. 22, 2008, the country was led by a military junta, which suspended the constitution and dissolved the legislature. It set up a transitional body, the 32-member National Council for Democracy and Development (Conseil National pour la Démocratie et le Développement; CNDD). The president, succeeded by an interim president from December 2009, of the junta governed the country with the assistance of the CNDD, led by a civilian prime minister. The National Transitional Council (Conseil National de Transition; CNT), a legislative-like body, was formed in February 2010. One of the duties of the CNT was drafting a new constitution, which was promulgated in May 2010.
Under the 2010 constitution, Guinea is a unitary republic. The constitution provides for a president to serve as the head of state. The president is elected by universal suffrage for a maximum of two five-year terms. A prime minister, who is the head of government, is appointed by the president. Legislators are elected to the unicameral National Assembly by universal suffrage for an unlimited number of five-year terms. The judiciary consists of the Supreme Court, the Court of Audit, and lower courts and tribunals. There is also a Constitutional Court, which presides over constitutional and electoral issues, and a High Court of Justice, which tries the president and other members of government for high treason and other crimes.
- Health and welfare
Since independence the government has made an effort to improve health care services. By the early 21st century infant and child mortality rates were reduced to nearly half of what they had been in the postindependence period. Nevertheless, equipment and supply shortages and an inadequate number of medical personnel continue to hamper the health care system.
Most social welfare services are either provided by the extended family or are absent. A severe housing shortage exists in the urbanized areas, though mud and straw construction reduces the problem in rural areas. It is estimated that one-fifth of the country’s population lives in Conakry and its environs, where the housing shortage is especially serious.
Educational facilities at all levels declined in the last decade of the Touré government. Private schools, previously banned, were allowed to reopen after Touré’s death in 1984. Today primary education is compulsory for six years beginning at age seven. Secondary education is also offered as a six-year program. Instruction is offered in French and in local languages. State-controlled institutions of higher education include the University of Conakry (1962) and the University of Kankan (1963). Slightly less than one-third of the population age 15 and older is literate, which is below average for western Africa.
Culture Life of Guinea
History of Guinea
The northeastern plains of present-day Guinea belonged to medieval Ghana and later to the Mali empire (see under Mali, History ). In the early 18th cent., a Fulani feudal state was established in the Fouta Djallon region. European exploration of the Guinean coast began with the Portuguese in the mid-15th cent.; by the 17th cent. French, British, and Portuguese traders were competing for slaves and by the 19th cent. for palm oil, peanuts, and other products. Anger over excessive levies exacted from French traders by local chieftains led France to proclaim a protectorate over the Boké area of Guinea in 1849. After a series of wars and agreements with other tribal chiefs, France took control of much of the rest of Guinea and annexed it under the name Rivières du Sud [rivers of the south]. In 1891 it was constituted as a French colony separate from Senegal, of which it had hitherto been a part. Its name was changed to French Guinea in 1893, and two years later it became part of French West Africa.
Guinean resistance to French rule was not quelled until 1898, however, and sporadic revolts continued into the 20th cent. Little economic development occurred under the colonial regime until just before World War II, when exploitation of Guinea's rich bauxite deposits began. The parallel growth of a radical labor movement led to the rise of Sékou Touré, a union leader who also headed the Democratic Party of Guinea (PDG), a branch of the intercolonial Rassemblement Démocratique Africain.
- Guinea under Sékou Touré
Under Touré's leadership, Guinea became the only colony to vote against the constitution of the French Community in 1958 and to opt for complete independence, which was achieved on Oct. 2, 1958. France retaliated by severing relations and withdrawing all financial and technical aid. Guinea cultivated close relations with the Soviet Union but expelled the Soviet ambassador in 1961 for alleged interference in the country's internal affairs. Touré also advocated African unity and steered the country into a union (largely symbolic) with Ghana in 1958; Mali joined in 1961.
In the late 1960s, Guinea sought improved relations with the West, although its basic international posture was one of nonalignment. Touré fostered Pan-Africanism, and in 1966, when Ghana's President Kwame Nkrumah was deposed, Touré welcomed him to Guinea as joint president. Under Touré, who held the presidency from the date of independence until his death in 1984, Guinea was a one-party Marxist-socialist republic. Touré was also head of the government and the PDG; in 1972 he relinquished the post.
In 1970 the country was invaded from Guinea-Bissau (then Portuguese Guinea) by a small force that included Guinean exiles opposed to Touré. The invasion was unsuccessful, and several political trials and executions followed. Guinea actively supported the independence movement in Guinea-Bissau, and Conakry was the movement's headquarters. In 1973, Guinea took greater control of the foreign-owned bauxite industry. Eventually, Touré's isolationist policies, brutal suppression of political opponents, and economic failures lost him public support. A softening of Touré's policies was evident toward the end of his tenure; he abandoned Marxism, normalized relations with France, and secured aid packages from both France and Arab nations.
- The Conté Regime
Immediately after Touré's death, a military coup brought the Military Committee of National Recovery (CMRN) to power under Col. Lansana Conté. In 1989, under domestic and foreign pressure, Conté announced that civilian rule would be restored. Also in 1989, French funds were provided for the construction of a hydroelectric plant on the Konkouré River. A new constitution was approved in 1990, and in 1991 the CMRN was replaced by a transitional government, still under Conté.
In 1993, Conté won the presidency in the country's first multiparty presidential election, which was boycotted by some opposition groups and marred by accusations of fraud, as well as by scores of killings in the election campaign. An army revolt was put down in 1996. Conté was reelected in 1998, but the vote was denounced by opposition groups as rigged. From the mid- to late 1990s, Guinea received close to 400,000 refugees from the civil wars in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Beginning in the late 1990s, Guinea saw the gradual suspension of foreign aid to Conté's government. The loss of aid has hurt Guinea's economy.
In 2000–2001, Guinean villages along the borders of Liberia and Sierra Leone were raided by foreign rebels, and the Guinean army counterattacked across the border in retaliation. The constitution was amended in 2001 to permit the president to run for a third term; at the same time the presidential term was extended from five years to seven. In Dec., 2003, Conté was reelected; opposition candidates boycotted the election. Fighting erupted between ethnic groups in the Forest Region (SE Guinea) in mid-2004; the hostilities were aggravated by an influx of combatants from nearby Liberia, and the region remained unsettled through 2005. Meanwhile, in Jan., 2005, there was an attempt to assassinate Conté, apparently as part of a failed coup. Former Liberian leader Charles Taylor was later accused of backing the plot in revenge for Conté's support for the rebels who forced Taylor from power.
Rising prices and discontent led unions to call a five-day general strike in Feb., 2006, which ended when the government made concessions. In Apr., 2006, the ailing Conté removed his prime minister, Cellou Dalien Diallo, from office for "serious misconduct," in an apparent power struggle over reform; a reorganization of the government, which would have strengthened Diallo's position, had been announced, but it was reversed by Conté. Continued economic problems and the failure of the government to deliver on its February concessions led to a new general strike in June; the nine-day strike was marked by violence, and again ended only after government concessions.
Antigovernment strikes and demonstrations, also marked by violence, erupted again in early 2007. An 18-day strike in January ended when the president agreed to appoint a new prime minister, but when he appointed his chief of staff a second strike was called in February. Contē then agreed to appoint a prime minister acceptable to the labor unions, and Lansana Kouyaté, a diplomat, was named to the post and a new government was appointed in March. Two months later there was more than a week of rioting in the capital by soldiers, who demanded better pay and housing and the replacement of the defense minister. Legislative elections due before June, 2007, were subsequently delayed into 2008, and Conté worked to diminish the new government's powers.
In May, 2008, Conté replaced Kouyaté with Ahmed Tidiane Souaré, a political ally. The move sparked a brief army mutiny over promised but unpaid pay hikes, but it ended after the government again promised the army its back pay and fired the defense minister. When Conté died in Dec., 2008, after a long illness, the army, led by Capt. Moussa Dadis Camara, quickly seized power. Camara was named president of the junta, the National Council for Democracy and Development, and an international banker, Kabiné Komara, was named prime minister.
Camara, who had declared he would not to run for president when elections were held (postponed in Aug., 2009, to Jan., 2010), hinted in Aug., 2009, that he would run, which led to a large opposition demonstration in the capital in September. The demonstrators were brutally attacked and assaulted by Guinean troops, resulting in the death of scores and provoking an international outcry. In December, Camara was wounded in an assassination attempt and was evacuated to Morocco for treatment; Sékouba Konaté, the vice president and defense minister, was named interim leader.
In Jan., 2010, the convalescing Camara was brought to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, while Konaté negotiated with opposition leaders concerning the reestablishment of civilian rule. Jean-Marie Doré was appointed prime minister, and a mixed civilian and military interim government was formed in February. The June, 2010 presidential elections forced a runoff between former prime minister Cellou Dalein Diallo, the largest vote-getter, and opposition leader Alpha Condé. The second round, however, was delayed for months by a series of issues, including the fraud convictions of two senior election commission members and tensions, including violence, involving the two candidates and their supporters.
In the November runoff, Condé was elected president, but Diallo challenged the result, charging fraud, and there were post-election clashes between supporters of the two candidates and with Guinea's security forces. International observers, however, said that they had no evidence of systematic fraud, and Guinea's supreme court rejected fraud allegations made by both candidates because of insufficient evidence. Condé subsequently named Mohamed Said Fofana as prime minister. The president survived an assassination attempt in July, 2011.
The first half of 2013 was marked by increasing tensions between the government and opposition over the delayed legislative elections (originally planned for 2011); antigovernment protests at times turned violent. In July both sides finally agreed to hold the elections in Sept., 2013. Although Condé's Rally for the Guinean People (RPG) won the election, it only secured a majority of the seats with the help of coalition allies; the supreme court again rejected the fraud allegations made by the parties. Fofana remained prime minister after the election.
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