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Lansana Conte
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World Leader
    (circa 1934-December 22, 2008)
    Born in Dubréka, Guinea
    Susu ethnicity
    Studied in military schools in Bingerville, Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) and Saint Louis, Senegal
    Joined French Army (1955)
    Joined Guinean Army as sergeant when Guinea gained independence (October 2, 1958)
    President of Guinea (April 5, 1984-December 22, 2008)
    Died of ‘a long illness’
    Buried in front of his mansion in Lansanaya, Guinea (December 26, 2008)
    He didn’t know what date he was born.
    He was a chain smoker.
    He fought against Algeria’s war of independence.
    He became president through a coup following the death of his predecessor Ahmed Sékou Touré.
    Despite his stated commitment to democracy, Guinea remained a dictatorship under him.
    His regime acquired a reputation of massive corruption because Transparency International ranked Guinea, along with Haiti, as the most corrupt country in the world (2006).
    He won largely flawed elections.
    He became increasingly unpopular among Guineans.
    He was constantly sick when he was president, resulting in a power vacuum.
    He threatened to expel members of Guinea’s national soccer team if they didn’t get rid of their ‘odd’ hairstyles (September 11, 2002).
    He concealed the identity of his illness so that Guineans wouldn’t freak out.
    His two sons were arrested on charges of drug trafficking.
    His rule was less authoritarian than his predecessor’s.
    His death resulted in a coup d’état in Guinea.
    He befriended the West by shifting to free market policies from his predecessor’s leftist economic policies.
    He expected his successor to be a patriot of Guinea.
    He allowed multiple political parties in Guinea in the 1990s.
    He survived a coup attempt (February 2, 1996).

Credit: Big Lenny

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