Kankan (Mandingo: Kánkàn) is the largest city in Guinea in land area, and the third largest in population, with a population of 193,830 people as of 2014. The city is located on the Milo River in eastern Guinea and lying about 345 miles east of Conakry.
The population of the city is largely from the Mande ethnic group. Kankan serves as the capital and largest city of Kankan Prefecture and Kankan Region.
Conté immediately denounced the previous regime's record on human rights, released 250 political prisoners and encouraged approximately 200,000 more to return from exile. He also made explicit the turn away from socialism, but this did little to alleviate poverty and the country showed no immediate signs of moving towards democracy.
In 1992, Conté announced a return to civilian rule, with a presidential poll in 1993 followed by elections to parliament in 1995 (in which his party—the Party of Unity and Progress—won 71 of 114 seats.) Despite his stated commitment to democracy, Conté's grip on power remained tight. In September 2001, the opposition leader Alpha Condé was imprisoned for endangering state security, though he was pardoned 8 months later. He subsequently spent a period of exile in France.
In 2001, Conté organized and won a referendum to lengthen the presidential term and in 2003 begun his third term after elections were boycotted by the opposition. In January 2005, Conté survived a suspected assassination attempt while making a rare public appearance in the capital Conakry. His opponents claimed that he was a "tired dictator" whose departure was inevitable, whereas his supporters believed that he was winning a battle with dissidents. Guinea still faces very real problems and according to Foreign Policy is in danger of becoming a failed state.
In 2000, Guinea became embroiled in the instability which had long blighted the rest of West Africa as rebels crossed the borders with Liberia and Sierra Leone and it seemed for a time that the country was headed for civil war. Conté blamed neighbouring leaders for coveting Guinea's natural resources, though these claims were strenuously denied. In 2003, Guinea agreed to plans with her neighbours to tackle the insurgents. In 2007, there were large protests against the government, resulting in the appointment of a new prime minister.
Guinea shares its northern border with Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, and Mali, and its southern border with Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Ivory Coast. The nation forms a crescent as it curves from its western border on the Atlantic Ocean toward the east and the south. The sources of the Niger River, Gambia River, and Senegal River are all found in the Guinea Highlands.
At 245,857 km2 (94,926 sq mi), Guinea is roughly the size of the United Kingdom. There are 320 km (200 mi) of coastline and a total land border of 3,400 km (2,100 mi). Its neighbours are Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire), Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Senegal and Sierra Leone. It lies mostly between latitudes 7° and 13°N, and longitudes 7° and 15°W (a small area is west of 15°).
Guinea possesses over 25 billion tonnes (metric tons) of bauxite – and perhaps up to one-half of the world's reserves. In addition, Guinea's mineral wealth includes more than 4-billion tonnes of high-grade iron ore, significant diamond and gold deposits, and undetermined quantities of uranium. Possibilities for investment and commercial activities exist in all these areas, but Guinea's poorly developed infrastructure and rampant corruption continue to present obstacles to large-scale investment projects.
Joint venture bauxite mining and alumina operations in northwest Guinea historically provide about 80% of Guinea's foreign exchange. Bauxite is refined into alumina, which is later smelted into aluminium. The Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinea (fr) (CBG), which exports about 14 million tonnes of high-grade bauxite annually, is the main player in the bauxite industry. CBG is a joint venture, 49% owned by the Guinean government and 51% by an international consortium known as Halco Mining Inc., itself a joint venture controlled by aluminium producer Alcoa (AA), global miner Rio Tinto Group and Dadco Investments. CBG has exclusive rights to bauxite reserves and resources in north-western Guinea through 2038. In 2008 protesters upset about poor electrical services blocked the tracks CBG uses. Guineau often includes a proviso in its agreements with international oil companies requiring its partners to generate power for nearby communities.
The population of Guinea is approximately 85 percent Muslim, 8 percent Christian, with 7 percent adhering to indigenous religious beliefs. Much of the population, both Muslim and Christian, also incorporate indigenous African beliefs into their outlook.
The vast majority of Guinean Muslims are adherent to the Sunni tradition of Islam, of Maliki school of jurisprudence, influenced with Sufism, with many Ahmadiyya; there are relatively few Shi'a in Guinea.
Christian groups include Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and Evangelical groups. Jehovah's Witnesses are active in the country and recognized by the Government. There is a small Baha'i community. There are small numbers of Hindus, Buddhists, and traditional Chinese religious groups among the expatriate community.
There were three days of ethno-religious fighting in the city of Nzerekore in July 2013. Fighting between ethnic Kpelle, who are Christian or animist, and ethnic Konianke, who are Muslims and close to the larger Malinke ethnic group, left at least 54 dead. The dead included people who were killed with machetes and burned alive. The violence ended after the Guinea military imposed a curfew, and President Conde made a televised appeal for calm.