Equatorial Guinea to Seek French Help to Probe Foiled Coup

(Bloomberg) -- Equatorial Guinea will ask the French government to help investigate a foiled coup which it says was plotted by mercenaries from Chad, Sudan and Central African Republic and financed by “personalities” in France.

Authorities in the oil-producing nation arrested some mercenaries as they tried to cross the border from Cameroon late last year, while about 20 members of an opposition group have been jailed, President Teodoro Obiang told Radio France Internationale on Wednesday.

The discovery of a plot to overthrow Obiang, who is Africa’s longest-serving head of state, was announced by the government earlier this month. At least 150 mercenaries are believed to have been involved in the plot, the foreign affairs minister told diplomats on Jan. 11.

In 2003, a group of 70 men, including former British and South African special-forces officers, were arrested at Harare airport in Zimbabwe, where authorities said their plane contained about $200,000 worth of weapons meant for a coup in Equatorial Guinea.

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