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UN sends envoy to Equatorial Guinea after 'coup attempt'

Francois Lounceny Fall

The United Nations will dispatch an envoy to Equatorial Guinea after authorities in the oil-rich country said they had put down an attempted coup by foreign mercenaries, the UN spokesman said Thursday.

Francois Lounceny Fall, the UN envoy for West Africa, will hold talks in Malabo next week.

UN spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters that "little information has emerged" about the alleged attempt to overthrow President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, who has held power for more than 38 years.

"We condemn all attempts to seize power unconstitutionally," he said.

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Equatorial Guinea's security minister announced Wednesday that his forces had thwarted a plot in late December to oust Nguema thanks to an operation carried out with the Cameroonian security forces.

The minister accused opposition parties backed by unnamed powers of recruiting fighters from Chad, Sudan and Central African Republic to carry out an attack on the presidential palace.

Clashes were reported in Equatorial Guinea near the border with Cameroon on Wednesday, state television said.

Equatorial Guinea is one of sub-Sahara's biggest oil producers but most of its population lives in poverty.

In 2004, mercenaries attempted to overthrow Nguema in a coup thought to be largely funded by British financiers.

Mark Thatcher, son of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, was reportedly involved in the funding and was convicted and fined in South Africa.

: nation.co.ke

 

 

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