11 January 2018

Equatorial Guinea Claims Failed Coup Planned in France

Photo: UN Photo/Cia Pak
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea: His government says there was a coup attempt against him.

Equatorial Guinea has said that an alleged coup attempt foiled last month was probably plotted in France.

Guinean Foreign Affairs Minister Agapito Mba Mokuy told a press conference on Wednesday that the coup appeared to have been planned on French territory but added that it "has nothing to do with the French government".

"We will cooperate with France as soon as we have more information," he said.

Relations between the two countries have been tense since a French court found Teodorin Obiang, the son of Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, guilty of embezzlement in a trial he did not attend.

He was given a three-year suspended sentence and 30-million-euro fine.

Malabo claims to have foiled a coup plot headed by one of its nationals living in Europe at the end of December.

Mokuy said on Wednesday that "27 terrorists or mercenaries" have been arrested and that about 150 are still at large near the border with Cameroon.

The "mercenaries" captured by Cameroonian police are from Chad, Sudan and the Central African Republic, sources have told the AFP news agency.

Central African President Faustin-Archange Touadéra visited Malabo on Tuesday to "show support".

There have been a number of coup attempts against Obiang since he took power in 1975.

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