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Political History of Guinea since World War Two


Mohamed Saliou Camara

Political History of Guinea since World War Two provides an in-depth study of the political evolution of Guinea from World War Two to the present. Based on primary-source information, it examines with rare depth and breadth the eventful history of this nation-state, whose trajectory has impacted in no small ways Francophone Africa and the rest of the continent. Interviews with some of the most knowledgeable and most credible actors and/or witnesses of Guinea’s political history and archival research, including the papers of key individuals never opened to the public before, constitute the foundation of this work. The author’s personal and professional experience further strengthens the work. As a native Guinean, a historian, and a journalist imbued with the political ideology of the PDG regime, the author was also a close and alert witness of the political transformation of this country. Hence, the book offers an incisive analysis of domestic politics and policy making under the five successive regimes that have governed Guinea since independence in 1958. It also offers an equally incisive analysis of the country’s foreign relations within international frameworks such as the Organization of African Unity, the United Nations, the Nonalignment Movement, the Economic Community of West African States, the Mano River Union, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and so on. This ground-breaking work is perfectly suited for courses in areas such as history, political science, African studies, decolonization studies, Third World studies, and nationalism studies.
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Chapter 6. The Foreign Policy of the Touré Regime


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Chapter 6

The Foreign Policy of the Touré Regime

The terms of definition of Guinea’s foreign policy goals and the determination of the ways in which they were pursued in the early independence years can be best approached from the perspective of what James E. Dougherty and Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Jr., have conceptualized as decisional behavior under crisis conditions.1 Even though Guinea gained independence under a de facto single-party system, the notion that the Guinean government’s foreign-policy choices in the early independence years fitted the decisional behavior of ideological single-party regimes classically categorized as “Third-World ideological populism” is historically erroneous. The fact is that the foreign-policy decisional behavior of the PDG government, from October 1958 roughly through 1963, was largely dictated by the East-West swirl in which the young state found itself caught up without sufficient margin of maneuver.

This was so in part because the birth of the Republic of Guinea was received with mixed feelings among the African elites. Leaders of independent nation-states (e.g., Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Liberia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Libya and Ghana) and those of nascent national liberation movements (e.g., the MNC in Congo-Léopoldville, the PAIGC in Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde, the MPLA in Angola and FRELIMO in Mozambique) viewed the event as a powerful breach into the wall of the French colonial empire and a historic leap toward the liberation of the continent. On the other hand, partisans of the Franco-African Community, that is, the overwhelming...

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