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   Empires The modern state of Guinea did not come into existence until 1958 but the history of the area stretches back much further. West Africa saw many empires rise and fall in the period before European intervention and Guinea fell within many of them. The Ghana Empire is believed to be the earliest of these which grew on trade but contracted and ultimately fell due to the hostile influence of the Almoravides. It was in this period that Islam first arrived in the region. The Sosso kingdom (12th to 13th centuries) briefly flourished in the void but the Islamic Mandinka Mali Empire came to prominence when Sundiata Kéïta defeated the Sosso ruler, Soumaoro Kanté at the Battle of Kirina in c. 1235. The Mali Empire was ruled by Mansa (Emperors), the most famous being Mansa Musa|Kankou Moussa, who made a famous hajj to Mecca in 1324. Shortly after his reign the Mali Empire began to decline and was ultimately supplanted by its vassal states in the 15th century. The most successful of these was the Songhai Empire, expanding its power from about 1460, and eventually surpassing the Mali Empire in both territory and wealth. It continued to prosper until a civil war over succession followed the death of Askia Daoud in 1582. The weakened empire fell to invaders from Morocco at the Battle of Tondibi just 3 years later. The Moroccans proved unable to rule the kingdom effectively, however, and it split into many small kingdoms. Fulani Muslims migrated to Fouta Djallon in Central Guinea and established an Islamic state from 1735 to 1898 with a written Constitution and alternate rulers. Colonial Era The slave trade came to the coastal region of Guinea with European adventurers in the 16th century. Slavery had always been part of everyday life but the scale increased as slaves were exported to work elsewhere in the triangular trade. Some sources suggest that more than half of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa were removed. Guinea's colonial period began with France|French military penetration into the area in the mid-19th century. French domination was assured by the defeat in 1898 of the armies of Samori|Samory Touré, Mansa (or Emperor) of the Ouassoulou state and leader of Malinké descent, which gave France control of what today is Guinea and adjacent areas. France negotiated Guinea's present boundaries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries with the United for Sierra Leone, the for their Guinea colony (now and Liberia. Under the French, the country formed the French of Guinea within French West Africa, administered by a governor general resident in Dakar, Senegal|Dakar. Lieutenant governors administered the individual colonies, including Guinea. 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 French Fifth Republic|Fifth Republic was supported by the French people, while France's colonies were given the choice between more Autonomous 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. De Gaulle withdrew the French with much of the French population following, which took much of the country’s infrastructure and large amounts of capital. Guinea quickly aligned itself with the Soviet Union and adopted policies. This alliance was short lived, however, as Guinea moved towards a China|Chinese model of socialism. Despite this, however, the country continued to receive aid and investment from countries such as the United States|U.S.. Even the relationship with France improved after the election of Valéry Giscard d'Estaing as president — trade increased and the two countries exchanged diplomatic visits. Within a few years of independence, Touré led the nation into one-party rule. Advocating a hybrid African Socialism domestically and Pan-Africanism abroad, Touré quickly became a polarising leader, and his government became intolerant of dissent, imprisoning hundreds, and stifling free press. At the same time, the government nationalised land, removed French appointed and traditional chiefs from power, and broke ties with French government and companies. Vacillating between support for the Soviet Union and (by the late 1970s) the United States, Guinea's economic situation became as unpredictable as its diplomatic line. Alleging plots and conspiracies against him at home and abroad, Touré’s regime targeted real and imagined opponents driving thousands of political opponents into exile. In 1970, rebel forces from neighbouring Portuguese Guinea, supported by the Portuguese, Portuguese invasion of Guinea