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Guinea Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

The two main opposition parties are spearheading resistance to the increasing probability that President Alpha Condé will change the constitution so he can stand for a third term in late 2020. The UFDG and UFR lead the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC) coalition of opposition parties and civil society groups, which has organised major protests since its formation in April 2019. Condé has not explicitly declared his ambitions but ordered a national referendum to be held simultaneously with legislative elections.President Condé's chances of standing for and winning a third term have been weakened by a series of election postponements, international criticism of his third term plans, and a focus on the electoral roll. The Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie withdrew its observer team on 24 February, citing the presence of 2.49 million “problematic” names on the electoral roll of around 7.7 million. This helped prompt yet another postponement from 1 March to an unscheduled date, raising the risk of knock-on delays to presidential polls due in October 2020.Civil unrest levels will remain very high, with regular political rallies, teachers' strikes, and demands to reinstate fuel subsidies. Conakry bears the brunt of demonstrations, which cause persistent delays to cargo heading to the city's port. New bauxite mines prompted by surging Chinese demand are earning Guinea export revenues, but have provoked repeated bouts of major violence driven by pressure on local amenities and an alleged lack of jobs for local workers. Buoyant mining activity underpins GDP growth forecasts of 5.5% for 2019 and 5.4% for 2020. This is largely driven by surging demand for bauxite, the aluminium ore of which Guinea holds the world's largest reserves. The country has become main-customer China's largest bauxite supplier and is the second-biggest exporter globally, behind Australia.
Last update: March 13, 2020

Operational Outlook

Powerful union confederations are likely to continue challenging the government on sector-specific and socio-economic issues through their ability to enforce widely observed industrial action. Strike action by teachers recurs regularly, largely due to the government's financial inability to meet demands, and broke out again in early 2020. Strike activity in the crucial mining sector is low, although some workers claim to have been intimidated into avoiding industrial action. The issue of alleged high-level corruption has been highlighted by a French prosecution over acquisition of the Conakry port concession, and accusations relating to an August 2018 agreement for the conventional terminal. However, corruption levels in the mining industry generally continue to ease.

Last update: March 17, 2020

Terrorism

Elevated

The presence of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and affiliated groups in northern Mali means much of West Africa faces high risks of militant attacks, including kidnapping for ransom. France's counter-terrorism operation in northern Mali has caused jihadists to regroup in border areas, and seek to expand recruitment and operations to neighbouring countries, notably Burkina Faso. However, Guinea borders Mali's southwestern region, which remains largely unaffected, and Guinea has weak links with leading target France. Moreover, there are few indications that indigenous Guinean religious organisations are seeking any affiliation with armed Islamist groups.

Last update: March 18, 2020

Crime

Although security has improved since the introduction of democracy, the threat of robbery, extortion and violence remains considerable. There have been many documented instances of gangs using the ruse of wearing military apparel to stage violent robberies while the armed forces themselves sometimes engage in criminal activities. The poorly trained and inefficient police are also more likely to be a source of crime than effective prevention. Foreign businessmen remain particular targets for non-violent crime, such as pickpocketing and extortion at security checkpoints. A surge in kidnapping of local businessmen and traders suggests the practice could transfer to expatriate targets.

Last update: March 18, 2020

War Risks

Violent political and social protests have often been centred on Peul-dominated areas of the capital, Conakry. This group votes heavily for the main opposition UFDG, and the government's controversial plans to change the constitution so President Alpha Condé can run for election again in 2020 raises the risk that rivalries will provoke an armed insurgency. Protests against constitutional amendments have been increasingly spreading to other parts of the country. In certain areas, inter-ethnic antagonism is rooted in long-standing conflicts over control of resources, particularly in Guinée Forestière. Guinea enjoys generally good relations with neighbours, although there is growing unease about the security implications of Condé’s third-term plans.

Last update: March 18, 2020

Social Stability

Very high

Social unrest risks will remain high due to intense opposition to a referendum aimed at effecting constitutional change and a probable third term for President Alpha Condé. Despite an opposition boycott of what is now a joint legislative election and constitutional referendum, and the latest poll delay from 1 March 2020, the risk of protests and violent repression by security forces remains high. Key drivers are whether the government takes action to remove the third of "problematic" names on the electoral roll and suggestions that Condé's term could be extended by delaying the presidential election due in October. Stepping up protests would likely involve their spread to mining regions around Boké.

Last update: March 18, 2020

Health Risk

Severe

Vaccinations required to enter the country

Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required if traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission and over one year of age. 

Routine Vaccinations

Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.

Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).

Other Vaccinations

Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).

Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).

Meningococcal Meningitis: For prolonged stays, or in case your travels will put you in close contact with a local population affected by an epidemic of the disease (for children over the age of two years).

Malaria: Recommended preventive medication - mefloquine (sometimes marketed as Lariam) or doxycycline (sometimes marketed as Vibramycin).

For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Natural Risks

Very high

The whole country, particularly Conakry, is regularly affected by heavy rainfalls between May and September, causing major flooding. The lack of adequate infrastructure hampers efficient drainage. This can also cause severe disruptions in transportation.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Transportation

Elevated

Several international companies provide air links to Europe and other African capitals.

A number of cases of travelers who were followed from the airport to their home to be attacked have been reported. It is advisable to organize transportation from the airport prior to departure.

The country suffers from unreliable, inadequate, and degraded road infrastructure. During the rainy season (May to October) roads are generally unreliable, especially in Low-Guinea and in the Forested Guinea region. The road between Gueckedou to Macenta is in a state of general disrepair.  

The danger of road accidents is heightened by the disregard of traffic rules by other drivers as well as the non-maintenance of vehicles, and the lack of medical care facilities. Due to the lack of public lighting all night travel should be avoided. It is advised to take the highway when driving.  All accidents, especially deadly accidents, may easily escalate into a violent riot. In case of an accident travelers should not leave the vehicle and immediately go to the nearest police station.

In Conakry, and in the rest of the country, it is recommended to ensure that vehicle doors are locked and the windows rolled up due to the risk of carjackings. Travelers are also advised to be wary of police or military officers who appear unexpectedly. Do not open your door and alert the anti-crime police and diplomatic authorities.

Western authorities formally advise against all travel by public transport.

Outside major cities, all travel must be done during the day, with an all-terrain vehicle (4x4), possibly in convoy, equipped with adequate supplies of water, food, and fuel. Make sure that the vehicle contains mechanical spare parts (wheels, cables, etc.) and have effective means of telecommunication.

Roadblocks manned by police officers are common, especially in the provinces. Security checks can be in-depth. It is advisable to cooperate with security forces at roadblocks and to carry all necessary personal and vehicle documents.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Infrastructure

Electricity grids are unreliable in the country and access to electricity is not guaranteed throughout the territory. Only 26.2 percent of the population has access to electricity.

Western diplomatic authorities generally advise that travelers choose an international hotel close to the city center or residential areas.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information

Climate

Guinea's climate is tropical and the country experiences two seasons. Generally speaking, the rainy season lasts from May until November and the dry season from December until April.

The country is divided into four distinct climatic regions. The west, along the Atlantic coast, is very wet. The climate is more temperate in the center (where the rainy and dry seasons are equally long). The climate then becomes more “Sudanese” (dry and tropical) heading northeast; this area receives less rain than the rest of the country and temperatures are high throughout the year, with the exception of the period from December to February when the Harmattan, a dry and dusty trade wind, blows across the region (temperature around 15°C instead of 40°C). Guinea's southeast is subequatorial and experiences a long rainy season (8-10 months/year) and average temperatures between 24°C and 28°C.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +224
LAC (anti-crime brigade):  
Districts of Taouyah, Hamdallaye, Gbessia, aéroport: 60 20 10 67
Districts of Kaporo rails, Ratoma:60 25 81 60
District of Matoto:60 25 81 62
District of Enta:60 25 81 63

Phone networks are not always in working condition in the country. This can affect emergency numbers as well.

Electricity

Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: April 5, 2019