Guinea is the world’s leading exporter of bauxite, used to make aluminium. But despite its natural riches, most people live in poverty. In May this year some army and police units mutinied over unpaid wages. Several people died in clashes with soldiers loyal to President Conte before the government paid up. The previous year, a general strike triggered violent anti-government protests. Human rights’ groups say nearly 200 people were killed before the army regained control. France, the former colonial power in Guinea, denounced the coup attempt and demanded the return of the legitimate authorities.