On October 2, 1958, Guinea became an independent, socialist and revolutionary republic. Sékou Touré will reign supreme for 25 years. Hundreds of thousands of Guineans choose exile, others languish in prison, but for many, Sékou Touré is first and foremost the fighter who dared to say no to General de Gaulle. The details of the historian Patrick Dramé.
On September 28, 1958, 97% of the Guinean people refused to join the French Union and opted for independence. “Communist groups, students, left-wing Guinean intellectuals threw all their weight and led Sékou Touré to vote no instead of yes,” explains Patrick Dramé. Of course, France reacted very badly. France will make sure to destabilize Guinea through several actions. »
An attempted coup took place in 1961, and France sabotaged the new economic program of this small country of 13 million inhabitants.
” The bridges are cut between France and Guinea. […] Guinea, which gains its independence, finds itself with nothing at all. »
The departure of France radicalized Sékou Touré. He then set up a “very large-scale” police repression. “Anyone in Guinea who does not fall within the ideological line defined by the revolution, and in particular by its leader Sékou Touré, is [passible] arrest”, says Patrick Dramé.
Moreover, on November 22, 1970, Portuguese forces attempted to overthrow the Democratic Party of Guinea. Sékou Touré further hardens political repression. An exodus then begins, especially that of intellectuals, towards Senegal, Mali and France.
” Guinea at the time was an open-air prison. »
From the 1970s, testimonies of torture and abuse spread throughout the world. Amnesty International denounces the situation, but does not have access to the country until 1982. Two years later, Sékou Touré dies in the United States during an operation.
Since 1984, Guinea has not really turned the page on these years of terror, according to Patrick Dramé. A military coup took place on September 5, 2021. The revolution remains very present in Guinea.