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Equatorial Guinea Old History

 

The two main parts of Equatorial Guinea, the mainland and the island of Bioko, had completely separate history until the 19th century, when they were merged into a Spanish colony. At Bioko, the Bubi people had a kingdom before the arrival of Europeans. On the mainland, among others, the folk groups were bujeba, belungue and kombe organized in various clan communities.

  • AbbreviationFinder.org: Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Equatorial Guinea, covering history, economy, and social conditions.

Portuguese sailor Fernando Póo landed for the first time in 1469 on the island of Bioko. In the mid-18th century, the warrior and hunter people from present-day Cameroon migrated into what is now the mainland part of Equatorial Guinea. The people groups that lived there were driven to the coast.

The Spaniards in 1778 took over the present Equatorial Guinea from the Portuguese in exchange for areas in South America. They built cocoa and coffee plantations at Bioko. Only after World War II did Spain show more interest in the mainland and began to use the forests for timber exports.

In the 1950s, the first nationalist parties in the Spanish colony were formed. They were dominated by the prisoners and demanded independence. The Spaniards refused but in 1963 gave the country a limited autonomy.

Old History of Equatorial Guinea

2018

November

PDGE excludes 42 members

November 4th

The PDGE ruling party excludes 42 members accused of involvement in a failed coup attempt on Christmas Eve 2017 (see January 2018). Among the excluded are a former ambassador, at least two former judges and the former head of President Obiang's security service. About 30 mercenaries from Chad, Sudan and the Central African Republic are being detained in Cameroon for suspected participation in the coup attempt. There is no agreement yet on handing them over to Equatorial Guinea, which will delay the trial of the coup attempt.

August

Travel restrictions for parliamentarians

August 24th

MPs say to the British BBC that they have been banned from traveling abroad without permission from Vice President Teodoro Nguema Obiang, son of President Obiang. Similar travel restrictions were introduced for government administration employees in June 2018.

July

The "national dialogue" begins

July 16

The so-called national dialogue is initiated by President Obiang without central opposition representatives present, as Obiang did not fulfill his promise to release all political prisoners. The dialogue will last for five days and is the sixth dialogue since Obiang gained power almost 40 years ago. Opposition party CI's prisoners have not been released and opposition in exile have not dared to return.

General amnesty is delayed

July 10

The opposition states for media that political prisoners have not yet been released from prisons, despite President Obiang's promise of a general amnesty ahead of the national dialogue to begin in mid-July.

Obiang promises to release all political prisoners

July 4th

President Obiang Nguema said in a televised speech that all political prisoners in the country should be released under a general amnesty. There has been a demand from the opposition for it to participate in Obiang's so-called national dialogue.

CI: Oppositionally killed by torture

July 3

Imprisoned opposition politician Juan Obama Edu has been tortured to death, according to his party Citizens for Renewal (CI). It should have happened on July 2. Obama Edu was sentenced in February, along with 20 other CI members, to prison for rioting in connection with the election campaign in November 2017. CI is now dissolved by the authorities. The announcement of Obama Edu's death risks disrupting President Obiang Nguema's plans for a national dialogue with the opposition, starting in mid-July. Five political parties have said they would like to participate in the dialogue if it is held outside Equatorial Guinea or with support and protection from the outside world. The parties also demand a general amnesty for the dialogue.

March

Free Trade Agreement in Africa

21 March

Equatorial Guinea is one of 44 countries to sign a Free Trade Agreement at the African Union Summit in Rwanda. The agreement must be ratified at the national level before the AFCFTA free trade area can become a reality, but it is seen as a historically important step towards increased trade exchange within Africa.

February

Opposition Party dissolved; members are imprisoned

February 27th

A court dissolves the opposition party Citizens for Renewal (CI) and sentenced 21 of the party's members to jail for more than 30 years for "rebellion" and for "undermining the authority of the state". The charges originate in a brawl that broke out when police tried to stop a CI meeting a week before the November 2017 election. Three policemen were injured and their weapons seized. According to the EU, the human rights situation has deteriorated significantly in Equatorial Guinea since the elections. The opposition is accusing the government of holding hundreds of opposition prisoners without cause. A CI member is also said to have died of torture in custody in January.

France is brought to trial

February 19

The International Court of Justice in The Hague holds hearings with representatives of France since the country was reported to the Court by Equatorial Guinea. The background is the French judgment against the country's Vice President Teodorín Obiang in autumn 2017 (see October 2017). Equatorial Guinea believes that France, through the judgment against Obiang, violated international conventions on diplomatic relations.

January

Obiang kicks suspected coup makers

January 25

President Obiang dismisses four senior officials, including his own grandson, who is suspected to have been involved in the coup attempt that took place in December 2017. Obiang's grandson, Constantino Obiang Mba, is forced to leave his post as director general of the state telecom company. In addition, two judges and Equatorial Guinea's ambassador to Chad are fired.

Equatorial Guinea submits visa agreement

January 10

Equatorial Guinea withdraws from the agreement with neighboring countries on visa freedom that came into force at the end of 2017 (see November 1, 2017). As a reason, Foreign Minister Agapito Mba Mokuy states the coup attempt that according to the government took place before Christmas (see January 3, 2018).

"Cupmaker stopped"

January 3rd

The government announces that a coup attempt was averted just over a week earlier, on Christmas Eve 2017. In a radio broadcast, the country's security minister states that mercenaries from Chad, Sudan and the Central African Republic participated in the operation. The 38 mercenaries are said to have been captured by security forces in Cameroon as they were crossing the border into Equatorial Guinea. Only a few hours after the radio broadcast, new battles are reported at the border with Cameroon. A mercenary should have been shot dead. More details will be provided in the coming days. Among other things, the government states that the coup attempt should have been planned on French soil.

 
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