[Marxism] Equatorial Guinea Coup Effort Stopped by Zimbabwe
gojack10 at hotmail.com
Thu Mar 11 01:32:09 MST 2004
The international press is trying to be as mum as possible about this one,
what with Haiti's coup still so fresh in the public mind. Equatorial Guinea
supplies 15% of US oil imports, and it is thought that that amount will
increase soon to 25%.
What are the possible reasons for why the US and allies might be trying to
now overthrow the previously favored dictator, Obiang? There are many, but
info is still hard to come by. Obiang has stored hundreds of millions in
secret bank accounts in the US, and also has been friendly with China. Maybe
Exxon and other oil firms are just looking for a more secure deal on the
oil, than Obiang seems to offer?
And the involvement of British intelligence officers is most interesting.
So now there is a situation where Zimbabwe's and Equatorial Guinea's current
leaders have now been thrown together in common cause. Bush, like Reagan,
seems to have a real penchant for using secret and shady operatives in
bizarre maneuvers world wide. And now this thing! The full implications of
this affair in world politics have just begun to come forth into the
limelight. What a bungle! Might it even become the beginning of the end for
HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's government Wednesday accused U.S.,
British and Spanish spy agencies of helping dozens of suspected mercenaries
detained this week in Harare in a plot against Equatorial Guinea's
government. "They were aided by the British secret service, that is MI6, ...
American Central Intelligence Agency and the Spanish secret service," said
Zimbabwe's Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, reading a prepared statement
at a news conference.
He said the heads of the police and army in the tiny but oil-rich central
African nation of Equatorial Guinea had gone along with the plot against the
government of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.
"The Western intelligence services persuaded Equatorial Guinea's service
chiefs not to put up any resistance, but to cooperate with the coup
plotters," Mohadi said.
He said the heads of the two services had been promised posts in a post-coup
Cabinet as a reward.
The Zimbabwean government of President Robert Mugabe did not immediately
offer any evidence to support its accusations of the involvement of Western
Mohadi said Zimbabwean authorities had obtained the information from Simon
Mann, who was detained in Zimbabwe Sunday as he waited to meet a plane
carrying 64 men who were held as suspected mercenaries.
Zimbabwe claims Mann is a former member of Britain's elite Special Air
Zimbabwe's foreign affairs minister said Wednesday the suspected mercenaries
could face the death penalty.
Equatorial Guinea, Zimbabwe Say Coup Nixed
Wed Mar 10
By EDWARD HARRIS, Associated Press Writer
DAKAR, Senegal - Zimbabwe and Equatorial Guinea say they have arrested 79
suspected mercenaries who were plotting to overthrow Equatorial Guinea
President Teodoro Obiang.
Most of the suspects were arrested after arriving on a jetliner in Harare,
Zimbabwe, allegedly to pick up weapons before heading to the oil-rich west
African nation. Zimbabwean Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge said they could
face the death penalty.
The foreign minister of Equatorial Guinea, a former Spanish colony, convened
diplomats including the Spanish ambassador to tell them about the alleged
coup attempt, a Spanish Foreign Ministry official in Madrid said Wednesday.
Twenty South Africans, 18 Namibians, 23 Angolans, two Congolese and one
Zimbabwean carrying a South African passport were arrested Sunday when their
aging Boeing 727 was impounded at Harare International Airport. Zimbabwean
state television described the passengers as mostly whites.
A suspect named Simon Mann, who was detained in Zimbabwe as he waited to
meet the plane, was cooperating with investigators and had supplied details
of the men's plans, said Zimbabwean Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi.
Zimbabwean officials previously identified Mann as a member of Britain's
elite Special Air Service, a commando unit.
Mohadi said their plane traveled from the west African state of Sao Tome and
Principe to South Africa, where it collected its passengers.
It then stopped in Zimbabwe, allegedly to meet two coconspirators and
collect weapons purchased from the state arms manufacturer, before
continuing to Equatorial Guinea.
Equatorial Guinea said Tuesday it had arrested an advance group of 15
alleged mercenaries believed to be plotting to overthrow Obiang.
Mohadi said at a news conference in Harare that British, American and
Spanish officials had persuaded Equatorial Guinea's police and military
chiefs to cooperate with the coup plotters.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has been heavily criticized by U.S. and
British officials for his autocratic rule. In turn, he has repeatedly
accused the United States and Britain of plotting to overthrow him.
Britain's Foreign Office said Wednesday it was aware of the allegation that
British SAS forces were involved in the Equatorial Guinea plot. British
officials in Harare attended a briefing with Zimbabwe's foreign minister, a
spokeswoman said. She had no further details. U.S. and Spanish officials
could not immediately be reached for comment.
Mudenge told journalists after the briefing that the arrested men would face
"the severest punishment on our statutes, including capital punishment."
He did not specify what charges would be brought against them or when they
might appear in court.
South African Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said that her
department was in no rush to assist the South Africans in Zimbabwe, or at
least seven others among those under house arrest in Equatorial Guinea.
"They are not exactly innocent travelers finding themselves in a difficult
situation," she was quoted as saying by the South Africa Press Association.
Along with the plane, Zimbabwe authorities seized what they called "military
materials" including satellite telephones, radios, backpacks, hiking
boots, bolt cutters and an inflatable raft. There were no reports of weapons
on the plane.
The suspects were later moved to the Chikurubi maximum security prison near
Harare, according to a civil aviation official who spoke on condition of
He said the plane had landed in Harare to load additional fuel, for which
the crew paid about $30,000 in cash.
UK accused of mercenaries plot
Rory Carroll in Johannesburg
Thursday March 11, 2004
Zimbabwe yesterday said 64 suspected mercenaries aboard a plane seized in
Harare could be executed for what it claimed was a western plot to overthrow
the government of Equatorial Guinea.
The home affairs minister, Kembo Mohadi, accused Britain, the US and Spain
of conspiring to take over the oil-rich west African nation with the help of
the alleged soldiers of fortune intercepted in transit at Zimbabwe's
The Zimbabwean authorities cited the presence of a former SAS officer, Simon
Mann, to portray the bizarre affair as proof that MI6 was involved with the
US-registered Boeing 727-100 which was seized on Sunday night.
The men arrested were mostly former soldiers from South African's
apartheid-era Buffalo Battalion, based in Namibia, a diplomatic source said,
and comprised 20 South Africans, 18 Namibians, 23 Angolans, a Zimbabwean
travelling on a South African passport and two men from the Democratic
Republic of Congo.
Mr Mann, who left the British army several years ago, is based in Cape Town
and believed to hold a South African passport. Bolt cutters, uniforms, a
dinghy and other equipment were found on board. A British company, Logo
Logistics, claimed yesterday it had hired the men and that they were en
route to the Democratic Republic of Congo to guard mines and that the
seizure was all a "dreadful misunderstanding".
But for the Zimbabwean authorities, who have long accused the US and Britain
of trying to destabilise President Robert Mugabe, the seizure was a public
The government of Equatorial Guinea, oil-rich and accused by critics of
being despotic, arrested 15 men on Tuesday which it said were an advance
The former Spanish colony appeared to coordinate yesterday's statements with
Harare which added the Spanish intelligence services to its list of
The affair triggered a backlash in South Africa against its growing numbers
of mercenaries. The foreign affairs minister, Nkosozana Dlamini-Zuma, said
she was in no rush to assist the South Africans in Zimbabwe, or another
group which is under house arrest in Equatorial Guinea. "They are not
exactly innocent travellers finding themselves in a difficult situation,"
She confirmed there were at least seven South Africans who had been arrested
in Equatorial Guinea. "I know one man has addressed the diplomatic corps and
explained what funny things they were doing up there," she said.
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