The Republic of Guinea, a French colony, is a country on the Western Coast of Africa. It is often referred to as Guinea-Conakry to distinguish it from Guinea-Bissau and Equatorial Guinea. With a population of about 12.4 million, it has a land area of 245, 860 square kilometres (94,927 sq mi).
Guinea is a predominantly Islamic country, with Muslims representing 85 percent of the population. Guinea’s people belong to twenty-four ethnic groups. French, the official language of Guinea, is the main language of communication in schools, in government administration, and the media, but more than twenty-four indigenuous languages are also spoken. The economy is largely dependent on agriculture and minerals. Guinea is the world’s second largest producer of bauxite and also produces diamond and gold.
Guinea is a relatively peaceful country but not insulated from terrorist attacks. The pervasive youth unemployment, drug trafficking, inequality, marginalization and porous borders render the country vulnerable to terrorism. Guinea in 2014 suffered one of the worst crisis; the Ebola virus disease leading to the death of 2,536 people by December 2015. The epidemic caused the West Region involving Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria and Mali in excess of 11,315 deaths by December 2015.
Political seasons are characterised by fierce political campaigns, and can result in violence. A spate of sectarian violence sparked by attacks between the Fula and the Malinke ethnic groups resulted in the death of 98 people in July 2013.
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