Sunday, October 25, 2009

Guinea , History

The area occuppied by Guinea today was included in several West African political groupings, including the Ghana, Mali,and Songhai empires , at various times from the 10th to 15 th century, when the region came into contact with European countries.
One of the strongest successor State of the Mali empire was the Songhai empire. It exceeded its predecessors in terms of territory and wealth but succumbed to civil war . Eventually, it was toppled at the at the battle of Tondibi in 1591.
An islamic state was founded in the eighteenth century which brought stability to the region. Simultaneously, the Fulani Muslims arrived in the high land region of Fouta Djallon.France colonised Guinea in 1890 and appointed Noel Balley as the first Governor. The capital Conakry was founded on Tombo Islandin the same year . In 1985 the country was incorporated into French West Africa.French domination was assured by the defeat of of the armies of Almamy Samory Toure, in 1898 which gave control of Guinea and its adjacent areas.
France negotiated its present boundaries in the late 19th or early 20th century with the British for Sierra Leone, portugese for their Guinea-Bissau and the Liberia. Under the French the country formed the territory of Guinea within French West Africa, administered by a governor general resident in Dakar. Lieutenant governors administeredthe individual colonies, including Guinea.
On 28 Sep. 1958, under the direction of President de Gaulle, Metropolitan France held a referendum on a new constitution and the cration of the fifth Republic. The colonies, except Algeria, which was legally a direct part of France, was given the choice between immediate Independence or retaining their colonial status. Guinea chose Independence, the only colony to do so. Thus Guine became the first French African colony to gain Independnce, on 2 Oct. 1958, at the cost of the immediate ceasation of all French assistance.
After Independence, Guinea was governed by President Ahmed Sekou Toure2. Toure pursued broadly socialist economic policies and suppressed opposition and free expression . Under his leadership, Guinea joined the non-aligned movement and pursued close ties with the eastern bloc.
A small army of Portuguse soldiers and Portuguese-Armed Guineans invaded Gunea in 1970.