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Yearbook 2001

Guinea. In southern Gguinea, the fighting between the government army and several different rebel groups from G., Liberia and Sierra Leone continued. In the combat zone, 150,000-250,000 civilians were trapped, most of them refugees from neighboring countries Liberia and Sierra Leone, but also Guineans who had been fleeing. Particularly vulnerable were those who were in an area known as the parrot beak.

2001 Guinea

Since the fighting has slowed down, the UN refugee agency UNHCR was able to evacuate most of the refugees in May. According to Countryaah, Liberia and Gguinea Presidents, Charles Taylor and Lansana Conté, accused each other of supporting opposition groups from the other country, but there were plans to meet later in the year to try to resolve the crisis.

Opposition leader Alpha Condé was released in May after being pardoned by Conté. During the summer, the Government Party began to act for a constitutional change which, among other things, meant that the president could be re-elected an unlimited number of times. This drew strong criticism from the domestic opposition and many western countries. A referendum on the issue was held on November 11, with the yes side receiving 98% of the vote. Officially, turnout was at 87%, while other sources talked about 20%. The decision to hold a referendum had not been taken by Parliament as the constitution states but after a decree from the president. The opposition alliance Codem had called for a boycott, and there were unrest before the election. Codem also threatened to boycott the parliamentary elections that would have been held on December 27. The government then decided to postpone it indefinitely.

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