Key dates in Guinea since independence
Published on: September 06, 2021 09:30 (EAT)
Army officers on Sunday staged a coup in Guinea. Here are some key dates in the history of the troubled west African country since independence from France in 1958. 1958: Independence On October 2, 1958, Ahmed Sekou Toure declares independence, a few days after a referendum rejected membership in a Franco-African community proposed by then French leader Charles de Gaulle. Sekou Toure is elected president in January 1961. The country turns socialist in 1967. Toure in power for 26 years The “father of independence” becomes a Third World hero but turns into an iron-fisted ruler who is blamed for the disappearance of about 50,000 people, according to human rights groups. Hundreds of thousands flee the country. 1984-2008: Conte’s rule On April 3, 1984, a week after Toure’s death, a military junta takes power led by Colonel Lansana Conte. He puts down a coup attempt in 1985 and a deadly army mutiny in 1996. Conte is elected president in 1993 and reelected twice in votes disputed or boycotted by the opposition. In early 2007, massive protests against the “Conte system” are put down, claiming more than 180 lives, according to humanitarian groups. 2008 coup On December 23, 2008, soldiers seize power in a bloodless coup the day after Conte died of an undisclosed illness at age 74. The government swears allegiance to the junta led by Captain Moussa Dadis Camara. In September 2009, security forces open fire at a stadium where thousands of opposition members are holding a rally. At least 157 people are killed and around 100 women are raped. In December, junta chief Camara is wounded as his top aide shoots him in the head. 2010: Alpha Conde, first elected president In January 2010, transitional President Sekouba Konate signs a deal with Camara, setting up a presidential election. On November 7, Alpha Conde becomes Guinea’s first democratically elected president. He survives unscathed when soldiers attack him at his home in the capital Conakry on July 19, 2011. He is reelected on October 11, 2015, after polls marred by violence and fraud allegations. 2013: Ebola epidemic An epidemic of the hemorrhagic disease Ebola breaks out that will last until 2016 and claim more than 2,500 lives. Conde’s third term Starting in October 2019, the prospect of a third term for Conde sparks fierce opposition, with dozens of civilians killed during protests. A new constitution adopted on March 22, 2020, after a referendum boycotted by the opposition allows Conde to run for a third term. Conde is declared the winner of a presidential vote on October 18, 2020, as top challenger Cellou Dalein Diallo and other rivals cry foul.