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Since winning independence from France in 1958, the Republic of Guinea has been ruled by only two presidents. The first of these, Sekou Toure, served until his death in 1984. General Lansana Conte succeeded to the presidency after Toure's death led to a military coup. He was returned to office in 1993 in Guinea's first democratic election. Guinea's population of 9,690,000 has expanded partially in response to the influx of 141,000 refugees from the politically tumultuous Ivory Coast, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. In response to situations in these countries, a panic over food shortages led to riots in local markets in Guinea. Despite natural resources that include half of the world's bauxite reserves, iron ore, diamonds, gold, uranium, hydropower, fish, and salt, Guinea is essentially ...

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