Formerly French Guinea, it achieved independence in 1958. Guinea has a history of military coups d'état. After decades of authoritarian rule, in 2010 it held its first democraticelection. As it continued to hold multi-party elections, the country continued to face ethnic conflicts, corruption, and abuses by military and police. In 2011, the United States government claimed that torture by security forces and abuse of women and children (including female genital mutilation) were ongoing human rights issues. In 2021, a military faction overthrew president Alpha Condé and suspended the constitution.
Muslims represent 85% of the population. The country is divided into four geographic regions: Maritime Guinea on the Atlantic coast, the Fouta Djallon or Middle Guinea highlands, the Upper Guinea savanna region in the northeast, and the Guinée forestière region of tropical forests. French, the official language of Guinea, is a language of communication in schools, in government administration, and the media. More than 24 indigenous languages are spoken and the largest are Susu, Pular, and Maninka, which dominate respectively in Maritime Guinea, Fouta Djallon, and Upper Guinea, while Guinée forestière is ethnolinguistically diverse. Guinea's economy is mostly dependent on agriculture and mineral production. It is the world's second largest producer of bauxite, and has deposits of diamonds and gold. The country was at the core of the 2014 Ebola outbreak.