Guinea, also Guinea-Conakry, is a country in West Africa. It
borders Senegal to the north, Mali to the north and northeast, Ivory
Coast to the east, Liberia to the south, Sierra Leone to the
southwest, and Guinea to the northwest. Bissau. From the west it is
washed by the Atlantic Ocean. The capital of Guinea is Conakry.
The origin of the toponym "Guinea" has not been definitively established. According to E. M. Pospelov, the hypothesis is likely that the toponym is a distortion of the Berbers. ⵉⴳⵓⴰⵡⴻⵏ iguawen ("dumb"), since the Berber tribes called their southern neighbors that did not understand the Berber language. On European maps from the 14th century, the name appears in the forms Ganua, Ginya, and from the 15th century - Guinea. Translated from the language of the local Susu people, the word "Guiné" means "woman."
Physical and geographical characteristics
More than half of the country's territory is occupied by low mountains and plateaus. The Atlantic coast is strongly indented by river estuaries and is occupied by an alluvial-marine lowland 30-50 km wide. Further, the Futa-Dzhallon plateau rises in ledges, divided into separate massifs up to 1538 m high (Mount Tamge). Behind it, in the east of the country, there is an elevated stratal plain, south of which rises the North Guinea Upland, turning into socle plateaus (≈800 m) and blocky highlands (Mount Nimba is the highest point of the country with a height of 1752 m).
It is divided into four natural regions - Maritime Guinea, Central Guinea, Mountain Guinea and Forest Guinea.
Guinea's most important minerals are bauxite, in terms of which the country ranks first in the world. Gold, diamonds, ores of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, zircon, rutile, and monazite are also mined.
The climate is subequatorial with a pronounced alternation of dry and wet seasons. Humid summer lasts from 3-5 months in the northeast to 7-10 months in the south of the country. The air temperature on the coast (≈27 °C) is higher than in the interior (≈24 °C) of the country, except during periods of drought, when the Harmattan wind blowing from the Sahara raises the air temperature to 38 °C.
Flora and fauna
The dense and high-water river network of Guinea is represented by rivers flowing from the plateau to the eastern plain and flowing into the Niger there, and by rivers flowing from these same plateaus directly into the Atlantic Ocean. Rivers are navigable only in small, mainly estuarine areas.
Forests occupy about 60% of the country's territory, but most of them are represented by secondary sparse deciduous trees. Indigenous moist evergreen forests have survived only on the windward slopes of the North Guinean Uplands. Along the river valleys, gallery forests are fragmentary. Mangroves grow in places along the coast.
The once diverse fauna of the forests has been preserved mainly in protected areas (hippos, genets, civets, forest duikers). Elephants, leopards and chimpanzees are almost completely exterminated.
Population - 12,395,924 (2017).
Annual increase - 2.6% (fertility - 5.2 births per woman, infant mortality - 63 per 1000 births).
The average life expectancy is 56 years for men, 59 years for women.
Infection with the immunodeficiency virus (HIV) - 1.6% (estimated in 2007, there are no reliable data for subsequent years).
Ethnic composition: Fulbe 32%, Mandinka 30%, Susu 20%, others 10%.
The main religion is Sunni Islam, 86.7% of the population, 8.9% Christians. Most of them are Catholics, there are also communities of the Assemblies of God, Evangelicals, Plymouth Brethren. Aboriginal beliefs - 4%.
Literacy - 42% of men, 18% of women (2003 estimate).
Urban population - 34% (in 2009).
The ancient history of Guinea has not been studied. In the 5th century BC e. the shores of Guinea, most likely, were captured by the Phoenician navigator Hanno.
In the Middle Ages, some parts of present-day Guinea were part of the Empire of Ghana (VIII-IX centuries) and Mali (XIII-XV centuries). At that time, the territory of Guinea was inhabited by various tribes, the most numerous of which were Mandinka, Dialonke, Susu.
In the 16th century, nomadic pastoralists, the Fulbe, settled on the Futa-Jallon plateau. In the 1720s, the Islamized top of the Fulbe started a war against the Dyalonke, as well as against the pagan Fulbe. This war ended mostly in the late 1770s. As a result, the early feudal state of the Fulbe, the Futa-Jallon imamate, was created.
In the XIX century, the penetration of the French into Guinea began. They tried to organize trade relations with the locals, but often this ended in the destruction of European merchants. Since 1865, France began to build forts and fortified posts on the Pepper Coast (in southern Guinea) to protect merchants. With the leaders of local tribes, the French tried to conclude non-aggression pacts.
Colonial period in Guinean history
In 1897, France entered into an agreement with the ruler of Futa-Jallon on a protectorate. In 1898-1904. approximately in the territory of modern Guinea there was a French colony of the Rivière du Sud.
Since 1904, French Guinea has been part of the federation of French West Africa.
The colonization of Guinea by the French was slow. Only after the end of the First World War there began the creation of plantations of bananas, pineapples, coffee. However, the plantation economy has not received much development. Industry also developed slowly in Guinea - only on the eve of the Second World War did the first mining enterprises and small workshops of the manufacturing industry appear there.
period of independence
In a referendum in 1958, the Guinean people voted for independence, which was declared on 2 October. Guinea was proclaimed a republic.
Ahmed Sekou Toure became the president of the republic, who established a one-party system in the country, backed up by a powerful repressive apparatus to suppress the “exploiting classes”, which did not have a specific definition, but which included alleged opponents of the regime. In the field of foreign policy, he adhered to a moderately pro-Soviet course, and in the field of domestic policy he was an adherent of "scientific socialism with African characteristics." The result of this strategy was the total socialization of property; at some stages, even the number of merchants in the bazaars was regulated by order. By the beginning of the 1980s, about a million residents of the country had emigrated abroad. In 1978-1984 it was called the People's Revolutionary Republic of Guinea.
After the death of Ahmed Sekou Toure in 1984, a group of military men seized power, creating the Military Committee of National Revival, headed by Colonel Lansana Conte, who eliminated the main competitors in the struggle for power over the next three years. Under President Comte, foreign policy was reoriented towards greater cooperation with France, the USA, Great Britain; the country began to enjoy modest support from international financial institutions.
In the late 1980s, the process of democratization of political life began; nominally free presidential and parliamentary elections have been held regularly since the beginning of the next decade. Nevertheless, Conte won the presidential elections three times (in 1993, 1998, 2003), and his Party of Unity and Progress won the parliamentary elections, and each round was accompanied by powerful opposition protests, to which local power ministries traditionally react very harshly.
The continuing deterioration of the economic situation in the country led to mass demonstrations in 2007 demanding the resignation of the government and the adoption of urgent measures to bring the country out of the crisis. As a result of negotiations between the authorities and the trade union movement, the post of prime minister was handed over to a compromise candidate with a mandate until the next elections scheduled for mid-2008.
On December 22, 2008, President Conte died suddenly and, according to the constitution, his duties were transferred to the chairman of the National Assembly, Abubakar Sompare, who was to elect a new president of the republic within 60 days. However, on December 23, 2008, a few hours after Conte's death, a group of military men who declared themselves the National Council for Democracy and Development, NCDD (French: Conseil national pour la démocratie et le développement, CNDD), carried out a coup d'état. On December 24, 2008, the duties of the President of the Republic were transferred to Captain Mousse Dadi Kamara by agreement between the government of Prime Minister Ahmed Tidiane Suare and the military, who created the National Council for Democracy and Development.
The leader of the junta scheduled the election of a new president for January 2010. At the same time, at first he refused to participate in the struggle for the presidency, but then changed his mind, which caused indignation of the opposition. On September 28, 2009, thousands of people rallied in the capital of Guinea, Conakry, to disperse which army units were thrown. As a result, more than 150 participants died, about 1,000 demonstrators were injured.
In December 2009, Moussa Dadi Camara was assassinated, during which he was shot in the head and sent abroad for treatment. As a result, control of the ruling junta passed to General Sekuba Konate, who later called on the opposition to form a government of national unity and scheduled presidential elections for June 2010. Since December 21, 2010 President Alpha Condé.
On September 28, 2013, parliamentary elections were held, the results of which were not recognized by the opposition.
On October 12, 2016, as a result of negotiations between the President of the Republic, representatives of the opposition and civil society, as well as with the participation of international observers, a political agreement was reached, consisting of 12 parts, the implementation of which was supposed to ensure the normalization of relations between political blocs and in civil society. The agreement was to help prepare for open and independent parliamentary and presidential elections in 2020.
On September 5, 2021, a military coup took place in the capital of the state, carried out by the forces of an elite military unit of the government special forces group (GPS). The head of the unit, Colonel Mamady Dumbua, announced the arrest of the country's president, Alpha Conde, the dissolution of the government and parliament, and the closure of borders.
It has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation (established with the USSR on October 4, 1958). In 2018, an agreement on military cooperation was signed between the countries.