Foreign policy and defense
The military coup in Guinea 2008 was
condemned by the outside world. The country was shut
down from several regional cooperation organizations and
large parts of the aid were frozen. After the junta's
fall in 2009, contacts with the outside world were
From independence in 1958 to the 1970s, Guinea was
internationally isolated and dependent on the Soviet
Union (see Modern History). In 1976, diplomatic
relations with France were resumed and after 1984 the
door was opened for even more contacts with the western
world. Relations with France improved and the United
States also showed increased interest in the country.
Overview of business holidays and various national observances in Guinea for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025.
Former colonial power France, which had withdrawn
most of its financial and military support to Guinea,
resumed in 2011. Condé's first official trip abroad went
to France, where he had previously lived in exile for
years. In 2011, Condé, along with two other West African
presidents, were also welcomed by Barack Obama at the
The EU, which is one of the largest donors, also
resumed its support in 2011, but only in 2014, after
parliamentary elections were also held, all restrictions
were removed. In 2014, the EU and Guinea signed a
cooperation agreement which meant that Guinea would
receive € 244 million in support in 2014-2022, among
other things, used for defense and justice reforms. The
EU also helped fund the 2015 presidential election, and
has also donated money to fight Ebola.
In recent years, contacts with China have become
increasingly important. Chinese companies have built the
country's parliaments as well as a new hydropower plant
that cost over half a billion dollars (see Natural
Resources and Energy).
Guinea has also approached several Muslim countries,
including Morocco and the Gulf States, and is a member
of the Islamic Cooperation Organization (OIC). Earlier,
Guinea also received support from Muammar Gaddafi's
In the 1990s and early 2000s, Guinea suffered from
the regional chaos caused by the civil wars in Sierra
Leone and Liberia. The country received hundreds of
thousands of refugees and in the border areas clashes
took place between warring factions from neighboring
countries. Former Guinean President Lansana Conté and
his Liberian colleague Charles Taylor accused each other
of supporting rebels from the other country. Since
Taylor was forced to leave power in 2003, relations
between the countries have improved.
Guinea also participated in the regional peace force
in Sierra Leone in the 1990s. In the early 2000s,
relations with Sierra Leone improved, although there are
minor disputes about where the border between the
countries goes. This applies, among other things, to the
strategically important border town of Yenga, which is
located in an area where there are believed to be large
diamond deposits. The city has been controlled by the
Guinean military since the days of the civil war,
although the countries in 2005 agreed that Yenga belongs
to Sierra Leone. In the summer of 2012, a new agreement
came into being which said that both countries would
withdraw their troops from the area and that the dispute
would be resolved through dialogue.
President Condé has close contacts with his colleague
in Ivory Coast Alassane Ouattara.
Guinea is a member of the African Union (AU) and the
West African Cooperation Organization Ecowas. After the
2008 coup, the country was temporarily suspended from
both organizations, but the country is now back. Ecowas
has on several occasions mediated in Guinea's domestic
political conflicts, for example around the 2010
presidential election (see Modern History).
The Mano River Union (MRU) was formed in 1980 by
Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to promote political
and economic cooperation. For many, operations were down
due to unrest in the region, but it was resumed in 2004.
Nowadays, Guinea-Bissau and Ivory Coast are also
included in MRU.
The military has continued to be a factor of power
and rumors of plans for a coup are constantly
flourishing. However, the civilian authorities have
gradually been able to strengthen their control over the
defense forces. In 2011, Condé initiated a defense
reform, which included the retirement of 4,600 older
soldiers. However, this has been done without the
funding being reduced in size or the soldiers' benefits
Alongside the regular defense forces, there is the
semi-military gendarmerie and the national police who
are responsible for the country's internal security. The
president is protected by a small elite force, the
According to some sources, the defense forces are in
practice much larger than the official figures show,
around 45,000 men.
Much of the military equipment is from the Soviet era
and often in poor condition.
During Lansana Conté, the military leadership was
dominated by people from his people group Susu, while
the military junta favored people from smaller groups in
the Southeast. There are indications that Malinké
strengthened his position in the military since Condé
became president. For historical reasons, there are few
people from the Fulani security forces.
FACTS - DEFENSE
8,500 men (2017)
The air Force
800 men (2017)
400 men (2017)
Military expenditure's share of GDP
2.3 percent (2017)
Military spending's share of the state budget
9.9 percent (2017)
Condé's government takes office on December 22. Prime Minister Mohamed Said
Fofana. Condé takes responsibility for the defense issues himself. Condé takes
up the post at a ceremony in Conakry, in the presence of several African heads
of state and government, including South Africa's Jacob Zuma and Liberia's Ellen
Johnson Sirleaf. In his first speech as president, Condé Sekouba commends Konaté
for having played a constructive role during the transition period.
HD confirms victory for Condé
At the beginning of the month, the Supreme Court ruled that Condé has won the
election. Cellou Dalein Diallo claims to accept the court's ruling, even though
he maintains that irregularities have occurred.
An emergency permit is introduced
Reports of new unrest come from the capital and other places in the country,
where Diallo's followers destroy property belonging to people who sympathize
with Condé, especially malinké, but also some fulani. On November 17, the junta
faces an 8-day state of emergency after 10 people were killed in Conakry.
Condé wins the election
Ahead of the second round, the two presidential candidates make a joint
statement calling for calm. No serious violence is reported during Election Day
on November 7. The turnout is 67 percent. According to international observers,
the election was largely correct.
The result is clearly just over a week after the election and the 72-year-old
Alpha Condé wins with 52.5 percent of the vote. After the victory, Condé
announced that he wants to seek reconciliation and talks about forming a
national unity government. Cellou Dalein Diallo refuses to approve the result
and claims that cheating has occurred.
ICC: Massacre is a crime against humanity
The ICC now decides that in the autumn of 2009 the massacre should be
regarded as a crime against humanity and that the investigation of the deed will
continue. Later, representatives of the ICC say that the court should consider
raising the case unless the national courts are able to handle the case.
New government ready
A transitional government with 34 members will be ready in mid-February.
Among the ministers are politicians as well as trade unionists and members of
the departing junta. Presidential elections are later announced until June 26.
"Konaté will manage the democratization process"
Camara makes a statement from Burkina Faso that the democratization process
should be run by Sékouba Konaté. The opposition agreed to appoint Jean-Marie
Doré as new prime minister. He belongs to an Alliance of Guinea's Democratic
Union (UFDG), also called Forces Vives, which brings together about 10
opposition parties, trade unions and a number of other organizations.
Ready for a new transition board
In early January, Sékouba Konaté offers the opposition parties to appoint a
new prime minister to prepare for free elections. The week after, Camara leaves
Morocco and travels to Burkina Faso for continued care. An agreement on a
transition board is signed on January 15, which promises that presidential
elections will be held within 6 months. The transitional regime will consist of
10 representatives of the sitting junta, 10 from the political opposition and 10
from the regions.