Saturday 24 February 2018
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema has rejected opposition claims that one of its activists died in custody after being tortured, and that some 200 of their number are under arrest. In an interview late Tuesday with French radio station RFI and France 24 television, Africa's longest-serving president confirmed the death in custody of an opposition activist but put it down to ill health. "I think there are about 20 people" currently under arrest, he said, without saying why they had been arrested or if they faced any legal proceedings following a crackdown which the opposition says began after mid-November's election. "It would make no sense" to give a specific figure, said Obiang, whose regime is regularly attacked by rights...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
There's nothing covert about Roxy -- a huge market in Abidjan selling counterfeit medicine, the scourge of Africa and the cause of around 100,000 deaths annually on the world's poorest continent. Located in the bustling Adjame quarter of Ivory Coast's main city and commercial hub, the haven for fake medicine has been targeted time and again by authorities and stockpiles burnt. But it resurfaces every time. "The police hassle us but they themselves buy these medicines," said Mariam, one of the many mainly illiterate vendors who hawk everything from painkillers and antibiotics to anti-malaria and anti-retroviral treatments. "When we are harassed we always come to an arrangement with them to resume our activities," she said. Fatima, another hawker, said: "Many...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
An opposition activist died in prison after being tortured in Equatorial Guinea, the country's main opposition party said Monday, accusing the government of "cruel and inhumane" treatment of its detainees. Santiago Ebee Ela, 41, died at the central police station in capital Malabo on Saturday night as a result of "cruel torture", Citizens for Innovation (CI) said in a statement. "The death of Santiago Ebee Ela is a consequence of the cruel and inhumane treatment shown to CI detainees by security forces of the PDGE regime," it said, referring to the ruling Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea headed by President Teodoro Obiang. The death was not confirmed by Equatorial Guinean authorities nor reported by state media. Ebee Ela was arrested...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
The African Union said Friday that President Donald Trump's reported description of African nations as "shithole countries" broke with "accepted behaviour" and was "extremely upsetting." Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for AU Chairperson Moussa Faki, told AFP that Trump's statement "truly flies in the face of accepted behaviour and practice." "This is not only hurtful, I think, to people of African origin in the United States, but certainly to African citizens," she said. "It's an extremely upsetting statement," she added. The comment was reportedly made during a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
President Donald Trump reportedly lashed out in a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform, demanding to know why the US should accept citizens from what he called "shithole" countries. The comments, first reported by The Washington Post, sparked anger among Democrats and Republicans and revived questions about Trump's tendency to make racially charged remarks. Trump sat down with senators and congressmen at the White House to discuss a proposed bipartisan deal that would limit immigrants from bringing family members into the country, and restrict the green card visa lottery in exchange for shielding hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation. "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" Trump said, according to people briefed...
(AFP (eng) 01/11/18)
Equatorial Guinea said Wednesday that an attempted coup against its government was organised in France, amplifying charges that an exile living in Europe was behind the plot. "The plan was organised on French territory," Foreign Minister Agapito Mba Mokuy told a press conference. "It has nothing to do with the French government," he said, adding, "we will cooperate with France as soon as we have more information". Mokuy also said that in the light of the purported coup, his country was suspending participation in a new scheme to allow visa-free travel among six countries in central and western Africa. Equatorial Guinea is a small, oil-rich state that has been ruled since 1979 by Teodoro Obiang, Africa's longest-serving president. Critics accuse...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
A United Nations special envoy has assured oil-rich Equatorial Guinea it will be supported in its "stabilisation efforts" following a "coup attempt" against President Teodoro Obiang, Africa's longest-serving leader. Francois Lounceny Fall, a former prime minister of Guinea, arrived in Equatorial Guinea over the weekend to meet Obiang and to "gather more information" on the putsch that Malabo said was mounted by foreign mercenaries on December 24. "We are leaving here comforted by the assurances we have received from the President of the Republic, and I can say that the United Nations will continue to support Equatorial Guinea in its stabilisation efforts...
(AFP (eng) 01/05/18)
Equatorial Guinea has launched a dragnet for "mercenaries" behind a bid to overthrow President Theodoro Obiang, Africa's longest-serving leader, a senior government official said on Friday. "We are carrying out intensive searches everywhere," the source, reached by phone from the Gabonese capital Libreville, told AFP. The manhunt, the official said, is focussed on "the Ebibeyin zone and other forests nearby," located near the border with Cameroon and Cameroon. It is also being carried out "in towns where they are believed to have infiltrated", in the capital Malabo, as well as Bata, Ebibeyin and Mongomo...
(AFP (eng) 01/05/18)
The United Nations said Thursday it will dispatch an envoy to Equatorial Guinea after authorities in the oil-rich country said they had thwarted a coup attempt against President Theodoro Obiang, Africa's longest-serving leader. The West African nation was put on alert Wednesday after a senior government official announced that a putsch mounted by foreign mercenaries on December 24 had been put down. Hours after Security Minister Mahamat Zen Cherif's televised statement, state broadcaster TGVE reported clashes with "mercenaries" near the border with Cameroon. Government troops shot dead one "mercenary" and "used gunfire to disperse (others) in the forests along the border", it said, without specifying how many fighters...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/18)
Chad's Foreign Minister Mahamat Zen Cherif, in a visit to Equatorial Guinea after a bid to overthrow long-time President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, condemned the attempted coup as a "major threat" to central Africa. "The attempt at destabilisation is not just an affair that only concerns Equatorial Guinea, it is also a major threat of destabilisation that concerns the entire sub-region of central Africa," he said in remarks reported by state television TVGE. On Wednesday, Security Minister Nicolas Obama Nchama said the authorities had thwarted an attempted coup, allegedly mounted on December 24 by foreign mercenaries recruited by political opponents. Hours after his statement, TGVE reported clashes with "mercenaries"
(AFP (eng) 01/04/18)
Clashes were reported in Equatorial Guinea near the border with Cameroon on Wednesday, shortly after the West African state said it had thwarted a coup against President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Africa's longest-serving leader. Government troops had shot dead a "mercenary" and "used gunfire to disperse them in the forests along the border", state television TVGE said, without specifying how many "mercenaries" were involved or how long the clashes lasted. Reports of the shooting came after Security Minister Nicolas Obama Nchama said in a statement on public radio that an attempted coup had been mounted on December 24, allegedly by foreign mercenaries recruited by political opponents.
(AFP (eng) 01/04/18)
Equatorial Guinea is ruled by Africa's longest-serving president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema, who took power by overthrowing his uncle and has since weathered several coup attempts himself. After claims of a new attempt late December, here is some background about the small nation tainted by claims of corruption and rights abuses. - Same leader for decades - Obiang, 75, has ruled the West African country of 1.2 million people for 39 years. He took power in a bloody coup in August 1979 by ousting his own uncle, first post-independence president Francisco Macias Nguema, who was shot by firing squad. Obiang has been regularly re-elected but often by default, with opposition parties boycotting the elections. He won a fifth seven-year term in...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
The West African state of Equatorial Guinea said Wednesday it had thwarted "a coup" against President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Africa's longest-serving leader, that had allegedly been mounted by foreign mercenaries recruited by his political opponents. Sources told AFP that the country's ambassador to Chad had been arrested and was being held in a military camp. In a statement read on public radio, Security Minister Nicolas Obama Nchama said an attempted coup took place on December 24. "A group of Chadian, Sudanese and Centrafricans [citizens of the Central African Republic] infiltrated Kye Ossi...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Peru, Poland and the Netherlands formally joined the ranks of the non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday "to make a difference," the body's president said. "Peace and security are difficult to achieve," Kazakh envoy Kairat Umarov, who took the rotating presidency in January, told council members at a special ceremony. "You are going to have a real chance to make a difference." One after the other, ambassadors representing the council's six new member countries -- five men and a woman, Polish envoy Joanna Wronecka -- placed their flag among those of the body's nine other members. The UN Security Council has 15 members, including five with permanent seats who have the...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
Israel on Wednesday began implementing a plan to force tens of thousands of African migrants out of the country by April, threatening to arrest those who stay. "This plan will get under way today," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting. Under the programme, some 38,000 migrants who entered Israel illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese, will have until the end of March to leave. Each will receive a plane ticket and $3,500 (2,900 euros) to do so. After the deadline, this amount will decrease and those who continue to refuse to go will face arrest. Holot, an open facility in Israel's desert south that can host 1,200 migrants who are allowed to leave to work...
(AFP (eng) 01/02/18)
The president of Equatorial Guinea said a war is being organised against his regime, days after a government official warned of a "destabilisation attempt". A "war" is being prepared "because they say I have spent a lot of time in power," President Teodoro Obiang Nguema said Saturday, without saying who he was referring to. On Wednesday neighbouring Cameroon arrested a group of nearly 40 heavily armed men who were headed into Equatorial Guinea. Equatorial Guinea's Ambassador to France, Miguel Oyono Ndong Mifumu, said the incident was an "invasion and destabilisation attempt". The country shut its north-eastern border shared with Cameroon and Gabon on Wednesday and has sent reinforcements from the army...
(AFP (eng) 12/30/17)
Cameroonian police have arrested a group of nearly 40 heavily armed men who were headed into neighbouring Equitorial Guinea, a military source said Friday. Equitorial Guinea's Ambassador to France, Miguel Oyono Ndong Mifumu, referred to the incident as an "invasion and destabilisation attempt", according to his office. The 38 suspects, who were taken into custody Wednesday in a bus on Cameroon's border with the tiny nation to its south, had rocket launchers, rifles and lots of ammunition, his office added. Military and local police have launched a probe into the intentions of the men, who were nationals of Chad, Central African Republic, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.
(AFP (eng) 12/30/17)
"Dozens" of activists from Equatorial Guinea's main opposition party have been detained at its headquarters in the capital Malabo and the port city of Bata, a party member told AFP Friday. "Security forces attacked our headquarters in Bata on Thursday and arrested dozens of activists, including some who had claimed refuge there more than four weeks ago," said Bonifacio Nguema, deputy head of the Citizens for Innovation (CI) opposition group. The CI also released a statement denouncing a series of clashes between police and party supporters, a number of whom were arrested...
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
France on Monday accepted a first group of 19 refugees who were identified in Africa under an overhauled asylum policy that will also see it expel thousands of economic migrants. While it has drawn little public outcry in France, the policy faces stiff opposition from the left and from charities that shelter migrants, 22 of which called in an open letter for France's rights ombudsman Jacques Toubon to intervene. Djamel, a refugee from the Central African Republic, arrived at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport with his wife and four children after spending four years at a camp in Chad, telling AFP: "Now we've no other family. Now you are our family." The new refugees -- also hailing from Sudan --...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/17)
At the frontier between Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, a long queue stretches between two checkpoints as travellers wrestle with officialdom and the inevitable demand for a sweetener in order to cross. The headache of crossing the border at Ebebiyin, at the crossroads of Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Cameroon, is typical of many frontier points in Africa, where customs hassles and kickbacks add to delays, costs and frustrations. But the problem here carries special weight. It is enduring despite a vow by a six-nation alliance in central-western Africa to create an unprecedented border-free bloc. "To cross by car from Cameroon to Gabon, we pay 30,000, 45,000 CFA francs (45 euros/$50 to 69 euros/$80). There's no explanation why,"...

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