[Marxism] Equatorial Guinea Coup Effort Stopped by Zimbabwe

Tony Abdo 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 
Tony Blair?

Tony Abdo
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 
intelligence agencies.

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
The Guardian

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 
international airport.

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 
relations bonanza.

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 said.

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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