Guinea's President Tempts Fate to Extend His Reign

Nov 8, 2019 | 10:00 GMT

Guinean president Alpha Conde rallies supporters in Conakry after a series of violent protests opposing his efforts to extend his term in office.

Guinea's President Alpha Conde greets his supporters in the capital, Conakry, on Oct. 31, 2019, after weeks of violent protests against the leader's perceived bid to prolong his rule claimed around 10 lives.

(CELLOU BINANI/AFP via Getty Images)


  • Guinean President Alpha Conde's attempt to remove his term limits via a constitutional referendum will spark months of violent protests and security crackdowns.
  • To retaliate against the government, there's a chance protesters could start targeting the country's lucrative mining operations.
  • As clashes escalate, Russia may also eventually come to Conde's aid to protect its own political and economic interests in Guinea. 

As 2019 comes to an end, a new and bloody political battle in Guinea is just beginning. The West African country's 81-year-old president, Alpha Conde, is pursuing a constitutional referendum that would enable him to run for a controversial third term in the country's 2020 election. The move has already mobilized a slate of serious protests, setting the scene for more violent confrontations as angry opposition groups try to run out the clock on Conde's grand plan before next year's presidential vote. But as Guinea's president heads down the familiar path of so many of his African peers have trodden before him, it will come with similar pitfalls and likely ramifications for the resource-rich country's foreign suitors -- and in particular, Russia....

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