--- Declaration of the Second Republic Day
In 1958 the French Fourth Republic collapsed due to political instability and its failures in dealing with its colonies, especially Indochina and Algeria. The founding of a Fifth Republic was supported by the French people, while France's colonies were given the choice between more autonomy in a new French Community and immediate independence. The other colonies chose the former but Guinea — under the leadership of Ahmed Sékou Touré whose Democratic Party of Guinea (PDG) had won 56 of 60 seats in 1957 territorial elections — voted overwhelmingly for independence. The French withdrew quickly, and on October 2, 1958, Guinea proclaimed itself a sovereign and independent republic, with Sékou Touré as president.
In 1970, Portuguese forces, from neighboring Portuguese Guinea, staged Operation Green Sea, a raid into Guinea with the support of exiled Guinean opposition forces. Among other goals, the Portuguese military wanted to kill or capture Sekou Toure due his support of the PAIGC, a guerilla movement operating inside Portuguese Guinea. After several days of fierce fighting, the Portuguese forces retreated without achieving most of their goals. The regime of Sékou Touré increased the number of internal arrests and executions. Sékou Touré died on March 26, 1984 after a heart operation in the United States, and was replaced in an interim role by Prime Minister Louis Lansana Beavogui.
A military junta headed by Lansana Conté and Diarra Traoré seized power on April 3, 1984 in a bloodless coup, ending Beavogui's brief rule. Conté assumed the role of president with Traoré as his prime minister. 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.