November 2, 2006

HARRISONBURG—In his weekly column for the World Defense Review, Dr. J. Peter Pham, Director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University, predicts an imminent crisis in the West African country of Guinea, which possesses almost one-third of the world’s total recoverable bauxite deposits and supplies nearly 50 percent of North America’s bauxite imports (bauxite contains aluminum oxide, the primary ingredient for aluminum smelting).

Guinea now faces the end of the long tenure of President Lansana Conté, a septuagenarian military officer who suffers from acute diabetes, leukemia, and a host of other known maladies, who has left no definite succession. Dr. Pham concludes:
“While the situation should be relatively contained as long as President Conté lives, all bets are off for the power vacuum that is expected to follow his eventual demise… once the post-Conté conflicts begin, they could quickly spiral into a national and regional conflagration, threatening progress in other countries in the subregion, including Liberia and Sierra Leone, and exacerbating ongoing conflicts in others like Côte d’Ivoire.”

Dr. Pham’s essay, “The Coming Chaos is Guinea,” can be accessed online by clicking here.