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Equatorial Guinea confirms 'failed' coup against the president

Equatorial Guinea confirms 'failed' coup against the president

Equatorial Guinea

<p><strong>The West African state of Equatorial Guinea said Wednesday it had thwarted “a coup” in late December mounted by mercenaries who sought to attack President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Africa’s longest-serving leader.</strong></p> <p>In a statement read on public radio, Security Minister Nicolas Obama Nchama said: “Mercenaries… were recruited by Equatorial Guinean militants from certain radical opposition parties with the support of certain powers.” </p> <p>The plot had been prevented thanks to an operation carried out <a href="http://www.africanews.com/2017/12/30/foiled-equatorial-guinea-coup-cameroonian-mercenaries-complicit/">in collaboration with the Cameroon security services</a>, he said.</p> <p>The announcement came after Cameroon on December 27 arrested 38 heavily-armed men on the border with the tiny state.</p> <p>Two days later, Equatorial Guinea’s ambassador to France, Miguel Oyono Ndong Mifumu, referred to the incident as an “invasion and destabilization attempt”.</p> <p>The suspects, taken into custody in a bus on the border, had rocket launchers, rifles and a stockpile of ammunition, according to his office.</p> <p>On Saturday, the 75-year-old Obiang said “a war” was being prepared against his regime, “because they say I have spent a lot of time in power”.</p> <p>Obiang has been president for more than 38 years.</p> <p>He took power in a coup on August 3, 1979, ousting his own uncle, Francisco Macias Nguema, who was shot by firing squad. </p> <p>He was re-elected to a fifth seven-year term in 2016.</p> <p>Equatorial Guinea is one of sub-Sahara’s biggest oil producers but a large proportion of its 1.2 million population still lives in poverty. </p> <p>In 2004, mercenaries attempted to overthrow Obiang in a coup thought to be largely funded by British financiers. </p> <p>Mark Thatcher, son of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, was reportedly involved in the funding and was convicted and fined in South Africa.</p> <p>In October last year, a French court handed down a three-year suspended jail term to Obiang’s son, Teodorin Obiang Nguema, who is also vice president, after convicting him of siphoning off public money to fund a jet-set lifestyle in Paris.</p> <p>He was accused of spending more than 1,000 times his official annual salary on a six-storey mansion in a posh part of the French capital, a fleet of fast cars and artworks, among other assets.His lawyers said they would appeal the ruling.</p> <h3> <strong><span style="color:red;"><span class="caps">SUGGESTED</span> <span class="caps">READING</span></span></strong> <a href="http://http://http://http://http://http://http://www.africanews.com/2017/07/13/equatorial-guinea-vp-teodorin-obiangs-flashy-lavish-world-whats-in-it/" target="_blank">VP Teodorin Obiang’s flashy, lavish world</a></h3>

Mercenaries... were recruited by Equatorial Guinean militants from certain radical opposition parties with the support of certain powers

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