ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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AFRICA- Guinea under Sekou Toure

AFRICA Guinea under Sekou Toure Rajen Harshe THE death of Sekou Toure on March 26 has put an end to a long drawn era of turbulent politics of independent Guinea. Such turbulence manifested itself through a number of sensational declarations on domestic and foreign policy, dramatic manner of denouncing the opponents, disdain for human rights, periodic purges within the Parti Democratique du Guinee (P D G) and paranoid style of Sekou Toure's leadership. With a rule of a quarter century, Sekou Toure displayed immense staying power by African standards, Among his contemporaries in former French Africa only Houphouet Boigny of Ivory Coast is still comfortably placed in the Presidential office. However, unlike Houphouet Boigny, Sekou Toure snapped off Guinea's ties with metropolitan France. embraced Marxism- Leninism, dreamt of building the United States of Africa with Kwame NKrumah, staunchly supposed the anti-colonial and anti-racist struggles and attempted to topple pro-West conservative regimes in Africa. To say the least, Toure was not as dull and colourless as other Francophone leaders like Senghor (Senegal). Bongo (Gabon) Houphouet Boigny and Ahidjo (Cameroon) who fell into a stereotypy by upholding the dependency equation with the Western imperialists. His controversial style of functioning and cordial equation with the Soviets became such a cause of concern for the moderate leaders that they conveniently began to dub him as a radical marxist leader. It would be worthwhile to assess the substance of Guinea's radicalism /socialism under Sekou Toure. A few glimpses at major policies during his rule would draw a tentative portrait of the man and his times, REVOLT AGAINST FRENCH COLONIALISM Sekou Toure's radicalism was quite evident since the early fifties when he was actively organising the P D G as a mass party with a militant tinge. The P D G had full blessings of the French Communist Party (P C F) which imparted the techniques of organisation to the former. Sekou Toure was associated with the P C F dominated trade union. Confederation Generale du Travail (C G T), and he also functioned as the Secretary General of the co-ordinating committee of C G T unions for the entire Fernch West Africa and Togo. As an outstanding trade unionist, he successfully launched the 67-day strike of Guinean workers in 1953 and compelled the French administration to concede their demands, such as forty hours of work per week 1953, He had also raised a Hag of revolt against French imperialism when France introduced loi-cadre reforms in 1956 to follow the the policy of 'divide and rule' in former French Africa.

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