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Guinea's 2008 Military Coup and Relations with the United States

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Congressional rept.

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Guinea is a Francophone West African country on the Atlantic coast, with a population of about 10 million. It is rich in natural resources but characterized by widespread poverty and limited socioeconomic growth and development. While Guinea has experienced regular episodes of internal political turmoil, it was considered a locus of relative stability over the past two decades. Guinea entered a new period of political uncertainty on December 23, 2008, when a group of junior and mid-level military officers seized power, hours after the death of longtime president and former military leader Lansana Conte. Calling itself the National Council for Democracy and Development CNDD, after its French acronym, the junta named as interim national president Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, previously a relatively unknown figure. The junta appointed a civilian prime minister and has promised to hold presidential and legislative elections by late 2009. However, some observers fear that rivalries within the CNDD, Dadis Camaras lack of national leadership experience, and administrative and logistical challenges could indefinitely delay the transfer of power to a democratically elected civilian administration. Guinea has never undergone a democratic or constitutional transfer of power since gaining independence in 1958, and Dadis Camara is one of only three persons to occupy the presidency since that time. Dadis Camara has presented himself as a reformer who is leading a CNDD crackdown on corruption and international drug trafficking, both of which had grown significantly under Conte. The United States condemned the coup and suspended some bilateral development aid and all security assistance to Guinea, signaling a hiatus in what had generally been a cordial bilateral relationship during much of the Conte period. This report analyzes developments since the militarys seizure of power in December 2008, Guineas relations with the United States, and U.S. policy in the wake of the coup.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Humanities and History
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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