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E Guinea coup ‘planned in France’

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A failed attempt to overthrow Equatorial Guinea’s government in December is said to have been organized in France, the oil-rich West African state’s foreign minister Agapito Mba Mokuy told AFP.

However, the coup plot did not involve the French government, Agapito Mba Mokuy added, without naming the suspects.

“We will cooperate with France as soon as we have more information,” he was quoted as saying.

Mr Moku also announced that Equatorial Guinea was suspending its participation in a scheme to allow free visa travel among six countries in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (Cemac) grouping.

The scheme could not be implemented, “given what has happened in Equatorial Guinea” and the absence of “secure” passports, AFP quoted him as saying.

A total of 27 “terrorists or mercenaries” had been arrested after the attempted coup on 24 December, and about 150 others were still being sought near the border with Cameroon, he added.

Equatorial Guinea has been ruled since 1979 by Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Africa’s longest-serving president.

His critics accuse him of being one of Africa’s most repressive rulers.

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