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Chronology for Susu in Guinea

Publisher Minorities at Risk Project
Publication Date 2004
Cite as Minorities at Risk Project, Chronology for Susu in Guinea, 2004, available at: [accessed 23 May 2023]
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Date(s) Item
901 - 1000 The western Sudanic empires emerged in the area of present-day Guinea.
1825 - 1875 The Muslim Fulani conquered the Fouta Djallon, the Malinke in Upper Guinea, and the Kissi, the Loma and the Kpelle in the Forest Region.
Oct 2, 1958 After 60 years under French rule, the Republic of Guinea (formerly French Guinea, part of French West Africa) became the first of the French colonies to gain independence. After independence, Guinea developed as a one-party state, headed by Ahmed Sekou Touré. Every Guinean was automatically a member of the Parti democratique de Guinee (PDG).
1976 Guinea's militia (who were formed for coup prevention) participated in a coup attempt.
Jan 1978 There were 2441 party units at the local level, 3112 district units, and 34 regional units in the People's Revolutionary Republic of Guinea. The elected officials who ran the Local Revolutionary Authorities effectively managed local administrative tasks. But citizen participation at other levels of state and party organization was prescribed.
Dec 1978 Political leaders had expressed their intention to promote inter-ethnic harmony and to contain possible sources of conflict. But all political parties were banned except the ruling PDG. Touré's Marxist regime, declaring "We prefer to live in poverty in liberty to riches in slavery," banned private farms and traders. But, the state put many Guineans in prison or in exile. By December 1978 some 800,000 had fled into exile in France or neighboring African countries. During the 1970s, opposition to the Touré regime had been organized by various groups, mostly based in Paris. Main opposition groups operating in exile included Mouvement pour le renouveau en Guinee (MRG - Movement for Renewal in Guinea, led by Maj. Diallo Thierno); Organisation unifiee pour la liberation de la Guinee (OULG-Unified Organization for the Liberation of Guinea, led by Ibrahima Kake); and Rassemblement du peuple guineen (RPG-Rally of the Guinean People, led by Alpha Conde). But they remained ineffectual.
1982 A constitution, which provided for an elected National Assembly, was approved.
Mar 1984 President Touré died. By the time of his death, some 1.5 million (more than 20 percent of the country's population) had fled the country.
Apr 3, 1984 The country's armed forces assumed power, forming the Comite militaire deredressment national (CMRN), headed by Lansana Conte. The 1982 Constitution and the PDG was suspended
Apr 4, 1984 Conte assumed the presidency and a new cabinet, headed by a prime minister and composed mainly of military officers, was set up. The CMRN released about 250 political prisoners and promised freedom of the press.
May 1984 President Conte restored the country's name to the Republic of Guinea (as it had been called until 1978).
May 15, 1985 Thirty-two former officers under the previous regime, detained since April 1984, were released.
Jul 4, 1985 There was a foiled coup by Lt.-Col. Diarra Traore (a former Prime Minister). Traore and the conspirators (including several members of the CMRN and former ministers under the Touré regime) were arrested. Twenty persons arrested were executed, among them two brothers of the late President Touré.
Aug 1985 A Court of State Security, assisted by a military tribunal, was established to search out persons charged with "crimes against the state."
May 6, 1987 Sixty people who had been supporters of President Touré, were sentenced to death following a secret trial.
Oct 1988 The National Islamic League (NIL) was created.
Mar 1989 In the country's first national Islamic conference, Conte said that state issues must be separated from religious affairs. He then banned all unofficial Islamic sects. Only the NIL was recognized.
Oct 1, 1989 Conte promised that the country would make the transition to a multi-party democracy during a five-year period. The National Recovery Council was established to adopt a new constitution, but no date was given for adopting it.
Oct 29, 1989 Ethnic rivalry was behind rioting, in which six people were killed, in the town of Labe in Middle Guinea region.
Feb 1990 All Guineans convicted of political crimes were given an amnesty.
Aug 1990 Bakary Sakho, a former member of parliament, Nansadi Berete, an engineer, and N'Vanfing Kourouma, a businessman, were arrested in connection with their distribution of a pamphlet of the Rassemblement du Peuple's Guineen (Guinean People's Organization) which accused the government of corruption.
Nov 1990 Students at Conakry University were on strike in support of demands for improvements in the quality of school facilities. Further clashes occurred over the following two weeks.
Dec 23, 1990 A new Constitution was approved in a referendum.
Jan 1991 The CMRN was dissolved and a mixed civilian-military Transitional Committee for the National Recovery (CTRN) was established.
Feb 1991 The CTRN appointed a new cabinet.
May 1991 Frequent protest and strikes by teachers and others demanding better pay and a relaxation of government austerity measures took place. On May 6, the National Confederation of Guinean Workers (CNTG) called an indefinite general strike.
May 17, 1991 Alpha Conde (a Malinke), the general-secretary of the illegal RPG, returned to the capital after an exile dating back to 1956. Upon his return, seven political parties and trade unions formed an Alliance for the Introduction of Democracy (AID) to press for a national conference.
May 19, 1991 Police broke up an opposition rally, just as Conde arrived to talk.
May 21, 1991 The government banned public meetings.
Jul 10, 1991 Conde left the country for renewed political exile in Senegal.
Dec 1991 Political parties were legalized. The opposition repeated demands for the establishment of a transitional government, but Conte rejected it.
Jan 9, 1992 The CTRN, the country's legislative body, was restructured. Conte relinquished the presidency of the CTRN in response to opposition demands for a separation of the executive and legislature.
Feb 6, 1992 Conte announced a major government reshuffle in which several senior military officers and members of the Guineenes de l'exterieur (a group of exiles who returned in 1984 after the death of President Touré) were dismissed.
Oct 8, 1992 The Rally of the Guinean People, the Guinean Party of Progress, and the Union for the New Republic formed an opposition alliance, the Front for Struggle and for Government. The Front pressed for the postponement of legislative elections scheduled for November.
Sep 28 - 29, 1993 Riot police cracked down on demonstrators who were marching through the capital. There were also violent clashes in Boke, 200 km north-west of the capital. The Changement democratique (CD), a grouping of 30 opposition parties, claimed that 63 people were killed and 405 injured during September 28-29 demonstrations. The government announced that 19 people had died and 198 had been wounded.
Oct 13, 1993 The first multi-party meeting was held between President Conte and representatives of all registered parties.
Dec 1993 The country's first multi-party elections resulted in a victory for President Conte.
Jun 20, 1994 The Interior Minister Alseny Rene Gomez denied coup plot reports. The main opposition RPG denied any involvement in the coup plot and stated its commitment to change through democratic elections.
Mar 1995 The U.S. State Department's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1994 reported that organizers of political rallied in upper Guinea, and opposition stronghold, were arrested for violating a 1992 statute requiring government permission for public gatherings. Upper Guinea is the support base for Alpha Conde's Rally of the Guinean People, a Malinke dominated party.
Aug 30, 1995 President Conte announced that there would be no further extra-parliamentary dialogue with the opposition. (British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC))
Dec 18, 1995 There were reports of unrest in Conakry as the Teacher's Union began a three-day strike to press for higher pay. (Deutsche Presse-Agenteur (DPA))
Feb 26, 1996 Tension between the government and opposition leaders rose following President Conte's admission that civilians were behind a military uprising earlier in the month. (BBC)
Mar 22, 1996 Dissident soldiers killed a senior army officer loyal to President Conte. The incident, in which the soldiers killed the officer after demanding the release of eight officers charged with mutiny for a February revolt, sparked a major military redeployment in Conakry. One officer said the dispute had ethnic undertones with Malinke, Fulani and forest region officers talking of eliminating Susu officers. (DPA) Susu reportedly hold 60% of the top military and civilian posts in Conte's government. (USAID, 11/98)
Apr 2, 1996 Some 27 people, including women and children, were killed in a refugee camp in Guinea by suspected Liberian rebels. The attacks appeared motivated by ethnic hatred as the attackers were Malinke and the Liberian refugees, Toma. (DPA)
Aug 20, 1997 The Committee to Protect Journalists protested the arrest and detentions of two journalists in Guinea. They were arrested after publication of two critical articles about the Minister of Justice. (Africa News Service (ANS))
Apr 1, 1998 Opposition leader Mamadou Ba was arrested after clashes in Conakry's Ratoma District which claimed at least 9 lives. The government blamed the violence on religious extremism. (BBC)
Sep 17, 1998 The Union of Democratic Forces protested its exclusion from the debate on the forthcoming presidential elections.
Nov 2, 1998 The Guinean Association for Human Rights issued a statement that the government's human rights record was "poor and unacceptable." The Association alleged that whole families have been detained or disappeared because they were thought to be opposition supporters. Opposition groups' rallies are also often violently disrupted by militants of the ruling party, and the press has been harassed. Two weeks before the statement, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly was dismissed by the ruling PUP for openly criticizing the government's human rights record. (Inter Press Service (IPS))
Dec 11, 1998 The southern town of Farannah was racked by pre-election violence. The opposition claimed the government used troops to disrupt their political rallies. The government has refused to allow foreign observers in to monitor elections. Rebels led by Col. Gbago Zoumanigui, who attempted a coup in 1996, reportedly have been carrying out raids into Guinea over the past few months. Zoumanigui reportedly was backed by the Sierra Leone junta. (IPS)
Dec 14, 1998 Multi-party elections took place. The elections were marred by violence between rival party members, and the government called out thousands of police and soldiers, closed its borders, and imposed a ban on driving and flights before the elections. The opposition, led by Ba's UNR, called for the elections to be postponed because the opposition felt the ruling PUP had unfair campaign advantages, including controlling the state media and access to state funds. However, elections proceeded and Conte was again reelected with 56% of the vote. Ba came in second with 25%, while Conde received 17%. (DPA, 11/14/1998; ANS, 12/18/98)
Dec 15, 1998 Malinke opposition leader Alpha Conde was arrested in southern Guinea.
Jul 24, 1999 Guinea was host to some 700,000 refugees from civil wars in four neighboring countries. (International Herald Tribune)
Dec 17, 1999 One year after his arrest, Alpha Conde remained imprisoned without trial. Scores of opposition leaders, including MPs and local government councillors, were arrested during the election period. Over 60 members of Conde's Guinean People's Rally were arrested and sentenced to terms ranging from 4 months to 5 years. Most said they had been tortured while in prison.

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