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Guinea Old History

 

In Guinea there are finds that show that the country was inhabited several thousand years ago. Between the 11th century and the 16th century, power over the area varied between three different West African kingdoms. In the 19th century, Guinea was colonized by France, which, however, had faced strong resistance from the indigenous population. When France in 1958 allowed its colonies to choose between self-government or full independence, Guinea chose the latter. The old colonial power broke off contacts with the country, which became increasingly isolated. Power fell into the hands of a leftist leader, Sékou Touré, who ruled Guinea with a hard hand.

  • AbbreviationFinder.org: Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Guinea, covering history, economy, and social conditions.

Finds of stone tools from the 4th century BC testify that Guinea has been inhabited since then, but the country's known history does not begin until the 8th century AD. At that time, Guinea was inhabited by the people of Baga, who were gradually driven to the coast by immigrant Susu and Malinké people from the east and north.

From the 1000s and 500 years on, Guinea was in turn part of the West African kingdoms of Ghana, Mali and Songhai. Through the Mali kingdom, the area was reached by Islam, but religion did not play a major role in Guinea until the 18th century. Militant members of the Fulani people then started a holy war to spread Islam from their stronghold on the Fouta Djallon mountain plateau. Fulani created a vast empire that existed in the 19th century.

The first Europeans came to the Guinea coast in 1445. It was the Portuguese who began to trade slaves and gold. In the early 19th century, French and British established trading stations along the coast. France wanted to incorporate Guinea into French West Africa, but when French troops entered the country they faced fierce opposition from the powerful Malinké leader Samory Touré. With his army, he held out for the French for a decade before Guinea became a French colony in 1890.

Old History of Guinea

The colonization of Guinea became a profitable business for France. Plantations were planted where peanuts, coffee and palm oil were grown for export. In addition, trade in diamonds and gold and from the late 1930s also carried on bauxite. An indigenous elite with French education was also created.

A West African anti-colonial party was formed in Mali in 1946 by, among others, the young Guinean trade union leader Sékou Touré, who claimed to be related to the legendary Malinké leader Samory Touré. The following year, Touré formed the Guinea Democratic Party (PDG). In the 1957 election in Guinea, PDG received 57 out of 60 seats.

Guinea becomes independent

The following year, France let its colonies choose to immediately become independent or enter into a union with France and then gain internal autonomy and financial support. As the only country among twelve French colonies, Guinea turned Paris back.

In October 1958, the country's independence was declared. France responded by suspending its financial support for Guinea and blocking its foreign trade. The French government also brought in its experts and destroyed archives and technical equipment.

Touré banned all parties except his own, the Marxist PDG. Power was centralized to the party leadership and to the president personally. Large parts of the educated elite left the country. The loss of French support and Touré's stateisation of business led to a sharp economic downturn. In its isolation, the country initially received assistance only from the Soviet Union. As Guinea left the so-called franc zone in 1960, its own currency became useless outside the country's borders. Smuggling, speculation and black exchange increased in scope and the economic situation worsened.

In 1965, all relations with France were severed since Touré accused the French of intriguing him. He survived several coup attempts.

After a failed invasion attempt by exile Guineans in 1970, Touré launched a brutal terror campaign at home. Suspected opposites were imprisoned and killed. Corpses were placed for viewing along the capital's streets.

Since women in Conakry 1977 demonstrated against the party's economic policy, protests spread in the country. Touré was forced to allow some private commerce and small business. The year before, contact with France had resumed and Guinea's foreign policy isolation was gradually broken.

2013

November

The opposition's complaint is rejected

The Supreme Court rejects the opposition's complaint and confirms the election result, triggering hostile demonstrations in Conakry. New unrest erupted a few days later after a journalist, who expressed criticism of President Condé, said there were plans for him to be murdered. The government denies that there are any such plans. Groups of young people gather in Conakry and set up barricades along the main roads, leading to new confrontations with the police. At least one person was killed in connection with the protests.

September

RPG wins the parliamentary election

September 28

The parliamentary elections are finally held after being postponed yet again (but only for four days). Election day is calm. Some problems are reported, such as lost voice cards or lack of waterproof ink. Still, observers from Ecowas state that the election has been held under acceptable conditions. According to the Election Commission, turnout is around 80 percent. The result will not come until October 19. According to it, RPG has got 53 seats in the National Assembly, while UFDG receives 37 and 7 seats respectively. However, UFR has won in the sensitive district of Matoto in Conakry. This means that no party has got its own majority in the National Assembly. The opposition accuses the Election Commission and the government of electoral fraud, which President Condé rejects. However, the votes in the largest constituency of Matoto in Conakry will be recalculated.

July

Nearly 100 dead in ethnic violence

At least 95 people are killed and over 100 injured when violence erupts between the Christian / animist group guerzé and the Muslim conian in the city of N'Zérékoré and its environs. Violent contradictions erupt periodically between the two groups. This time, the wave of violence is triggered by guardians belonging to guerrillas killing a man from Konianke whom they charge for theft. The violence degenerates into attacks with machete and people being burned to death, according to eyewitnesses. A temporary curfew is introduced and security forces are deployed.

New agreement on the election

July 3

The government and the opposition a settlement which means that Guineans abroad may vote, that the government and the opposition should appoint a committee to monitor the work of the election commission, the South African company Waymark may retain the mandate to revise the electoral rolls, but a new control system will be introduced and the voting must take place in another direction (plus all votes must be counted by hand). UN mediator Sajid Djinnit receives praise from several quarters for having reached a settlement.

June

The parliamentary elections are postponed again

The parliamentary elections, which are scheduled for June 30, are postponed yet again. The election would have been held as early as 2007, but has been postponed a number of times due to disagreement between the government and the opposition parties about the conditions for the election.

Minister charged with massacre

Claude Civi, colonel and minister responsible for the president's security, is charged with murder, rape and property damage in connection with the massacre of at least 157 people at Conakry Stadium in 2009 (see November 2009).

New talks between the government and the opposition

New talks between the government and the opposition begin with mediation by Sajid Djinnit the UN Special Envoy for West Africa. The opposition jumps off the talks on June 20. No opposition candidates register to participate in the election.

May

Diallo and Kouyaté travel to Paris

Cellou Dalein Diallo and Lansana Kouyaté travel to Paris to pay attention to the world around Guinea. From the start of the protests in March to the end of May, more than 50 deaths had been demanded.

Security forces are accused of assaulting protesters

Despite attempts to resolve the conflict over the parliamentary elections, a number of new protests are erupting in Conakry. Several people are killed in unrest in the middle of the month, but will cease for a time when the parties start talks after UN mediation. However, they quickly break down and the opposition accuses President Condé of sabotaging them and organizing new demonstrations, especially in Conakry. At least about 10 people are killed. The government rejects information that the security forces have been behind the violence without blaming what they describe as criminal participants among the protesters. Other media reports that there are also clashes between fulani and malinke.

April

New agreement between the government and the opposition

At the end of the month, both the government and the opposition sign a declaration promising to resolve the problems surrounding the election and other conflicts without resorting to violence.

Mine manager is arrested for corruption

A chief of the Israeli mining company BSGR is arrested accused of corruption.

The parliamentary elections are moved again

The president unilaterally decides to move the parliamentary elections to June 30. The opposition continues to demand that Guinean residents living abroad be allowed to vote and that the South African company, Waymark, which updates voting lengths, should be deprived of its mission.

Taxes for mining companies are lowered

The National Transitional Council decides to lower taxes for mining companies and several other measures not to discourage foreign companies from investing in the country. Several projects have recently been put on ice, both because of the political turmoil and uncertainty about which rules apply but also generally lower world market prices for a number of minerals.

Return to the negotiating table

At the beginning of the month, opposition parties return to the negotiating table. They say that all requirements except one have been met, among other things, the election commission's work has been temporarily suspended as long as the talks are ongoing and a number of opposition supporters arrested in connection with demonstrations have been released.

March

Locked position in the negotiations

The opposition breaks talks with the government and threatens new street protests. The government claims that it has made several concessions to meet the opposition's demands, but that the other side has not been willing to make any concessions.

Protests require the death victims

New protests in March lead to clashes between protesters and police in Conakry, followed by violence between people from the Fulani and Malinké groups. At least five people are killed and hundreds more injured according to the UN, which expresses concern about the situation.

February

The opposition alliance boycott the election

At the end of the month, the opposition alliance announces that it will boycott the parliamentary election, which has now been moved to May 12. The reason is the suspicion that the election will be rigged, among other things, the opposition is dissatisfied that the Election Commission unilaterally decided on Election Day and considers that the two companies hired to update the electoral votes favored the government side.

 
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