Friday 20 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema fired four senior regime officials, including his grandson, in recent weeks on suspicion of collusion with a foiled December "coup", official sources said Thursday. Ruben Clemente Nguema Engonga, president of the court of Bata city and son of the interior minister, and Martin Obiang Ondo, magistrate in the court of Malabo, were sacked Wednesday for "irregularities", according to decrees read on state television. Constantino Obiang Mba, a grandson of Obiang and director general of the state-owned telecommunications company, Getesa, was sacked on January 17...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
US President Donald Trump on Friday asked the African Union chairman to pass on his "warmest regards" to other regional leaders at a summit this weekend, after sparking outrage with a reported slur against Africans. Trump met Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some African business leaders say they are planning to boycott Trump's closing speech later Friday. The outspoken US leader congratulated Kagame on taking over as chair of the 55-nation African bloc, which Trump said was a "great honour". "I know you're going to your first meeting shortly. Please give my warmest regards," Trump told Kagame after they held a one-on-one meeting at the forum.
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
The oldest remains of a modern human outside Africa have been dug up in Israel, offering evidence of what genetic studies have already suggested -- that humans migrated out of Africa some 50,000 years earlier than previously thought. Facial fragments, including a jawbone and several teeth, were found at a site called Misliya Cave in Israel, one of several prehistoric cave sites located on Mount Carmel. The bones date to between 174,000 and 188,000 years old, said the report in Thursday's edition of the US journal Science. Until now, the earliest modern human fossils found outside of Africa were estimated to be between 90,000 to 120,000 years old. "Misliya is an exciting discovery," said co-author Rolf Quam, an anthropology professor...
(AFP (eng) 01/24/18)
Authorities in Equatorial Guinea are detaining 135 members of the opposition at a jail in the south of the country, their lawyer said Wednesday. "One hundred and thirty-five opposition activists, who are members of the Citizens for Innovation (CI) party, are concerned," the attorney, Fabian Nsue Nguema, told AFP. "They are in prison in Evinayong. The charges against them will be made public at their trial." The detentions came on the heels of general elections on November 12, in which the ruling party gained 99 out of the 100 seats in the legislature. The arrests are linked to scuffles between party members and police...
(AFP (eng) 01/24/18)
Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang, Africa's longest-serving leader, dismissed the country's ambassador to Chad on Tuesday, weeks after authorities said they had thwarted an attempted coup. Ambassador Enrique Nsue Anguesomo was removed due to "irregularities committed in the exercise of his functions," and stripped him of his rank of police colonel, according to two decrees read out on state television. The dismissal comes after the oil-rich country was put on alert earlier this month after reports of a putsch mounted by foreign mercenaries on December 24, according to government officials. State broadcaster TGVE also reported clashes with "mercenaries" near the border with...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/22/18)
KLEINARL, Austria (Reuters) - The chilly conditions on an Austrian mountainside belied the warm reception given to people from 15 African countries who took part in an annual luge race aimed at helping migrants integrate into European society. The event over the weekend, dubbed the African Winter Sports Cup, is a luge race contested by people with little or no experience of winter sports. Its aim, over the six years it has been held, is to promote social integration through sport, organizers said. The countries represented included Nigeria, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan. Some of the people taking part had come to Europe as asylum seekers while others were born on the continent. “We are all human, we have...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)
US Ambassador Nikki Haley expressed regret on Thursday to African ambassadors who were outraged by President Donald Trump's alleged description of African countries as "shithole" nations, the head of the African Group said. Haley asked to meet the African ambassadors at the United Nations after they released a joint statement on Friday demanding an apology from Trump for his "outrageous, racist and xenophobic remarks." Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba of Equatorial Guinea, who chairs the Africa Group, said the US ambassador did not offer an apology during the closed-door meeting, but she did express regret. Haley told the meeting that "she was not there at the White House, she is not sure what was said, but she regretted all this situation...
(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...

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