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http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ek.html The Equatorial Guinea mainland
is located in the northwest corner of Gabon, just below Cameroon. An
island section, located off the coast of Cameroon, hosts the capital
at Malabo. The area of Equatorial Guinea is 28,050 square km (10,831
square miles), about the size of Maryland.
(WSJ, 1/2/98, p.8)(SFC, 5/15/01,
Nov 6, Severo Moto Nsa was born in Equatorial
Guinea. He later became the most notable opposition politician in
Equatorial Guinea, and leader of the Progress Party.
1960 Aug 23, World's largest
frog (3.3 kg) was caught in Equatorial Guinea.
1968 Oct 12, Eq. Guinea gained
Independence was from Spain. Eq. Guinea consists of two geographic
entities: the mainland of Rio Muni and the island of Bioko, formerly
Fernando Poo. Francisco Macias became the 1st president and
proclaimed himself God’s "unique miracle." He drove the economy into
the ground and over a third of the population went into exile.
6/29/96, p.A15)(SFC, 5/15/01, p.A10)
1968-1969 Pres. Francisco Macias Nguema murdered a
6th of the population of Eq. Guinea.
(WSJ, 8/31/05, p.D10)
1974 Formal education in Eq.
Guinea came to an end.
(WSJ, 8/31/05, p.D10)
1976 The Development Bank
of Central African States (BDEAC) was established and included six
members of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa:
Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Equatorial
Guinea and Gabon.
1979 Aug 3, In Equatorial
Guinea Pres. Macias was overthrown and executed by Teodoro Obiang
Nguema, his nephew, security chief and right-hand man. Teodoro
Obiang Nguema assumed power.
1991 Alba, Equatorial Guinea's
3rd significant field, was discovered by Water International.
Original estimates of reserves at Alba were around 68 million
barrels of oil equivalent (BOE), but recent exploration has
increased new estimates to almost 1 billion BOE. It is located 12
miles north of Bioko island.
1993 The World Bank after
severed its relationship with Equatorial Guinea.
1995 Equatorial Guinea's Zafiro
field, located northwest of Bioko Island, was discovered by
ExxonMobil and Ocean Energy (bought by Devon Energy in 2003). It
contains the majority of the country's oil reserves.
1996 Aug, Equatorial Guinea’s
offshore Zafiro oil field came onstream and by the end of 1997 was
producing 75,000 barrels a day. Output from Zafiro peaked in 2004.
(Econ, 11/3/12, p.74)
1996 In Equatorial Guinea
Teodoro Obiang Nguema submitted to elections and received 98% of the
vote in balloting that marred by extensive fraud and intimidation.
(SFC, 5/15/01, p.A10)
1999 The Equatorial Guinea
government budget was $47 million.
(SFC, 5/15/01, p.A10)
1999 Ceiba, Equatorial Guinea's
second major producing oil field was discovered by Amerada Hess in
1999 and began production in December 2000. It is located just
offshore of Rio Muni in exploration Block G and is estimated to
contain 300-800 million barrels of oil.
2001 Oil revenue in Equatorial
Guinea reached $140 million.
(SFC, 5/15/01, p.A10)
2001 The population
in Equatorial Guinea was about 475,000.
(SFC, 5/15/01, p.A10)
2002 Apr, The World Bank
resumed lending to Equatorial Guinea.
2003 Oct, Washington reopened
its embassy on the tropical Equatorial Guinea's island capital of
Malabo after an eight-year shutdown. The tiny West African country
has a tremendous amount of oil. Pres. Teodoro Obiang has had his
opponents imprisoned and tortured, his presidential predecessor
executed by firing squad, and has helped himself to the state
treasury at will. State radio recently declared him "like God."
2004 Mar 7, Zimbabwean
authorities seized a US-registered cargo plane at Harare carrying 64
"suspected mercenaries" and military equipment. Equatorial Guinea
later said the men were mercenaries from South Africa en route to
stage a coup. Twenty South Africans, 18 Namibians, 23 Angolans, two
Congolese and one Zimbabwean carrying a South African passport were
arrested when their aging Boeing 727 was impounded. Another 15
suspects were arrested in Equatorial Guinea the next day. In 2006
Adam Roberts authored “The Wonga Coup," an account of the attempted
(AP, 3/8/04)(WSJ, 3/10/04, p.A1)(AP,
3/10/04)(WSJ, 7/26/06, p.D11)
2004 Jul 27, All but three of
70 suspected mercenaries accused of plotting a coup in Equatorial
Guinea pleaded guilty to lesser charges in Zimbabwe.
2004 Jul, Equatorial Guinea and
Gabon reached an agreement allowing joint oil exploration in
disputed territories until a final resolution is worked out under UN
mediation. They have disputed the ownership of three islands in the
Gulf of Guinea, including Mbagne Island, since the 1970s.
2004 Aug 25, In South Africa
Mark Thatcher, the son of former British PM Margaret Thatcher, was
arrested and charged with helping to finance a foiled coup attempt
in oil rich Equatorial Guinea. In 2008 Equatorial Guinea issued an
international arrest warrant against Mark Thatcher, accusing him of
being an instigator of the abortive coup plot.
(AP, 8/25/04)(AFP, 3/29/08)
2004 Aug 27, A Zimbabwean court
found Briton Simon Mann guilty of attempting to illegally buy arms
for an alleged coup plot in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea but absolved
66 other suspected mercenaries. In 2011 Simon Mann authored “Cry
Havoc," his chronicle of the failed coup.
(AP, 8/27/04)(Econ, 12/3/11, p.103)
2004 Sep 10, Simon Mann, a
former British special forces soldier and the alleged leader of a
foiled coup plot in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea, was sentenced to
seven years in prison for trying to buy weapons from Zimbabwe's
state arms manufacturer.
2004 After the March coup
attempt led by Simon Mann and Nick du Toit in Equatorial Guinea,
opposition leader Severo Moto was accused of being the instigator.
He was tried in absentia and received a 63-year sentence.
2004 A US government found that
some $700 million from Equatorial Guinea was held at Washington's
Riggs Bank, making the country the bank's biggest customer. Riggs
was fined millions of dollars in money-laundering fines. Nothing was
done against Equatorial Guinea’s Pres. Obiang. Human rights groups
have accused Obiang of using the oil wealth to make his family
fabulously rich while most of his countrymen live in squalor.
2005 Jan 13, Sir Mark Thatcher
pleaded guilty to unwittingly helping to finance a foiled coup plot
in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea, accepting a $506,000 fine and
suspended jail sentence.
2005 Jan, Equatorial
Guinea pledged to increase transparency in its fiscal accounts,
citing its new natural gas company as a first step in this
2005 Mar 15, A US Senate
investigators released a new report that said 9 US banks, including
Citigroup, Bank of America, and Riggs Bank, enabled Augusto
Pinochet, former Chilean dictator, and family members to build a
secret network of accounts to conceal his wealth. DC-based Riggs
Bank merged with PNC Financial following the inquiry, which also
revealed that Pinochet and Obiang Nguema, president of Equatorial
Guinea, had stashed millions in private accounts there.
p.A2)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riggs_Bank)(Econ, 3/14/09, p.63)
2005 Mar 29, It was reported
that China’s influence in Africa was expanding rapidly. Chinese
projects included the rebuilding of Nigeria’s railroad network; the
paving of roads in Rwanda; ownership of copper mines in Zambia;
timber operations in Equatorial Guinea; and supermarket operations
(WSJ, 3/29/05, p.A1)
2005 Jul 16, A Russian-made
plane that disappeared from radar shortly after takeoff in
Equatorial Guinea crashed with 55 people aboard.
2005 The population of
Equatorial Guinea was estimated to be about 535,800.
2006 Oct 31, PM Shinzo Abe said
Japan will continue assisting Equatorial Guinea in its efforts to
promote democracy. Abe made the pledge during a 45-minute meeting
with Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema in Tokyo.
2007 Jan 1, Li Zhaoxing,
China's foreign minister, signed a string of accords in Benin as
part of a whistle-stop tour of seven African nations as Beijing
bolsters economic ties on the continent. From Benin Li flew to
Equatorial Guinea ahead of visits in the coming days to
Guinea-Bissau, Chad, the Central African Republic, Eritrea and
2007 Jan 2, China's foreign
minister continued his whistle-stop African tour in Equatorial
Guinea, where he cancelled debt, promised aid and opened a new
Chinese-built media centre.
2007 Feb 24, Eq. Guinea was
cited as the world’s 3rd richest country with a GDP per person
estimated at $50,000.
(Econ, 2/24/07, SR p.4)
2007 Apr 26, Six central
African countries (Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Central African
Republic, Cameroon and Congo) plan to launch a common passport in
July, permitting the free movement of goods and people across their
2007 May 9, A Zimbabwean court
authorized the extradition of Briton Simon Mann to Equatorial Guinea
on coup plot charges, sweeping aside concerns that he might face
torture or invalid justice there.
2008 Apr 16, A military plane
belonging to Equatorial Guinea crashed off its coast with at least
13 people on board. There are no survivors.
2008 Jul 7, A court in
Equatorial Guinea convicted former British officer Simon Mann on of
being the key player in a failed 2004 coup plot in this Central
African nation and sentenced him to 34 years and four months in
2008 Aug 18, Equatorial
Guinea's exiled opposition leader Severo Moto was released from a
Spanish jail four months after he was detained for allegedly trying
to send weapons to the oil-rich African nation.
2008 Sep 29, UNESCO accept a
proposal to launch a prize for achievement in life sciences paid for
and named after Pres. Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea.
2008 Equatorial Guinea was
ranked by Transparency Int’l. as the world’s 9th most corrupt
country. Pres. Nguema spent less than 2% of the GDP on public health
and less than 1% on education.
(Econ, 7/18/09, p.44)
2009 Jan 30, In Libreville,
Gabon, leaders of the six Central African states (Cameroon, Chad,
Gabon, CAR, Congo, Equatorial Guinea), began meeting to discuss
closer economic ties, including the creation of a new regional
airline. The Economic and Monetary Union of Central Africa, known as
CEMAC, planned discussions on such issues as monetary reform and the
free movement of citizens.
2009 Feb 17, In Equatorial
Guinea gunmen clashed with security forces near the presidential
palace. Gunmen in two speedboats attacked the island capital before
dawn. 16 men from neighboring Nigeria were arrested in the
mysterious attack on the presidential compound. The government said
several attackers drowned.
(AP, 2/17/09)(AP, 2/19/09)
2009 May 5, A French judge
decided to investigate three African heads of state for money
laundering and other alleged crimes linked to their wealth in
France. The probe follows a complaint by Transparency International
France, an association that tracks corruption, against Gabon's Omar
Bongo, Republic of Congo's Denis Sassou-Nguesso and Teodoro Obiang
of Equatorial Guinea.
2009 Nov 3, In Equatorial
Guinea Simon Mann (57), a British coup-plotter, and four South
African mercenaries, pardoned for attempting the overthrow the
government of the tiny oil-rich African nation, were freed from
prison. Mann, who was born into a world of wealth and privilege, had
been serving a 35-year sentence in Equatorial Guinea for the 2004
2009 Nov 29, Equatorial Guinea
held elections. It was expected that results would extend the
30-year rule of Teodoro Obiang Nguema (67), a man accused of
draining his nation's oil wealth to fabulously enrich family and
cronies while his people suffered in slums. Obiang gave only six
weeks' notice for the election and coverage in the state-controlled
media was skewed. Nguema won power for another term with 95.37% of
votes cast. Opponents and international human rights groups
denounced the electoral process in Africa's No. 3 oil producer as
(AP, 11/29/09)(AP, 11/30/09)(AP, 12/4/09)
2009 Dec 5, In Equatorial
Guinea Gen. Sekouba Konate, the No. 2 of the military junta,
returned to the country overnight, helping fill a dangerous power
vacuum after the president was shot by his top aide and evacuated
for emergency treatment.
2009 The population of
Equatorial Guinea was estimated to be about 600,000.
(Econ, 7/18/09, p.44)
2010 Jul 2, In junta-ruled
Guinea electoral officials announced that a runoff vote would be
needed to determine who wins the mineral-rich West African nation's
first free election since independence.
2010 Jul 5, Brazil’s Pres. Luiz
Inacio Lula da Silva wrapped up a state visit to Equatorial Guinea
(Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial), which included the signing of
multiple cooperation agreements, economic meetings, and festivities.
(PR Newswire, 7/6/10)
2010 Oct 11, The rights group
EG Justice said in a statement that a letter signed by 125 African
scholars and human rights defenders has denounced the UNESCO-Obiang
Nguema Mbasogo Prize for Research in the Life Sciences, a prize
named for the president of Equatorial Guinea. Mbasogo seized power
more than 30 years ago and has been accused of human rights
violations including unlawful killings, torture, and arbitrary
2010 Oct 21, UNESCO, the UN's
cultural and education agency, suspended plans to grant a prize
named after Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Equatorial Guinea's longtime
dictator, after human rights groups slammed the award by citing the
leader's poor human rights record.
2010 Nov 9, France's highest
court authorized a probe into the assets of three African heads of
state, after two rights groups' alleged that the leaders laundered
money through French villas, cars and bank accounts. The probe will
target Gabon's late leader Omar Bongo, the Republic of Congo's
President Denis Sassou-Nguesso and President Teodoro Obiang of
2010 Nov 19, In the Republic of
Congo 8 countries signed a convention to limit the spread of weapons
in central Africa, but three countries opted out. Angola, Cameroon,
the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of
Congo, Gabon, The Republic of Congo, Sao Tome and Principe all
signed. Burundi, Equatorial Guinea and Rwanda did not sign.
2011 Jan 30, Equatorial
Guinea’s Pres. Teodoro Obiang assumed the African Union chairmanship
at the organization’s annual summit, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
2011 Feb 11, In Equatorial
Guinea writer Juan Tomas Avila Laurel (44) began a hunger strike. He
left Malabo the next day for Barcelona, Spain, amid fears for his
2011 Feb 28, Global witness, a
corruption watchdog, said Teodorin Obiang, the son of Equatorial
Guinea's dictator of 30 years, has commissioned plans to build a
super-yacht costing $380 million, nearly three times what the
country spends on health and education each year. UN statistics
showed that 20% of the country’s children die before reaching the
age of 5.
2011 Jun 20, Equatorial Guinea
was accused by Amnesty International of a clampdown on freedom of
expression ahead of an African Union summit being held in the
country this month.
2011 Jun 30, In Equatorial
Guinea the 53-nation African Union opened its summit in Malabo.
2011 Jul 1, In Equatorial
Guinea Africa's heads of state signed off on a road map designed to
help Libya emerge from civil war, but carefully dodged the issue of
what role the country's entrenched dictator Moammar Gadhafi should
play in its future government. The African Union called on its
members to disregard the International Criminal Court's arrest
warrant for Moammar Gadhafi.
(AP, 7/1/11)(AP, 7/2/11)
2011 Jul 1, The African Union,
meeting in Equatorial Guinea, said Senegal must try Hissene Habre,
the former dictator of Chad, who has been living in the Senegalese
capital for decades. Habre has lived in Senegal since 1990, and
Senegal agreed to create a special court to try him more than five
2011 Oct 13, Equatorial
Guinea's President Teodoro Nguema Obiang signed a decree
nominating his playboy son, Teodoro Obiang Mangue, as his deputy
envoy to UNESCO in apparent retaliation for the UN body's refusal to
award a prize named in his honor. The news was made public on Oct
19. Teodorin's appointment was announced on the same day that Human
Rights Watch urged United States authorities to move quickly to
probe his alleged corruption and money-laundering.
2011 Nov 1, Equatorial Guinea
authorities arrested Marcial Abaga Barril, an opposition member. A
day later he was told he was being held into the alleged killing
last month of a cook working for Pres. Obiang’s family. He
planned to campaign against this month's referendum on a
constitutional change that would all but ensure that Africa's
longest-serving dictator could extend his rule. Barril was released
on Nov 4.
(AP, 11/4/11)(AP, 11/4/11)
2011 Nov 13, Equatorial
Guinea's main opposition withdrew its agents from polling stations
to protest against irregularities as the country voted in a
referendum on a new constitution. If approved, the constitution
would be amended to impose presidential term limits, but the text
does not make clear whether Obiang will have to step down when his
term ends in 2016. The referendum also created a new vice president
position, a job many believe is earmarked for Obiang's son. 97% of
people voted in favor of measures that limit presidents to two terms
in office. The new constitution did not make clear whether Obiang
could stay in power until 2030.
(AFP, 11/13/11)(AP, 11/14/11)(AFP, 11/16/11)
2012 Feb 14, French police
searched an upmarket Paris residence of the son of Equatorial
Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema as part of a corruption
2012 Mar 8, UNESCO's governing
board voted for the UN's educational body to go ahead with a
controversial prize financed by Equatorial Guinea's President
Teodoro Obiang Nguema.
2012 Mar 29, Equatorial Guinea
warned that French firms would face the consequences if Paris did
not scrap an arrest warrant for the son of President Teodoro Obiang
Nguema. A day earlier the ruling Democratic Party (PDGE) said the
country's first son, also the party's vice president, could not be
judged by a French court.
2012 Apr 16, Equatorial
Guinea's public prosecutor launched a probe into whether Daniel
Lebegue, the head of the French wing of corruption watchdog
Transparency International, slandered the country.
2012 May 18, The government of
Equatorial Guinea's PM Ignacio Milam Tang resigned in line with a
constitutional reform approved in November.
2012 May 25, Equatorial Guinea
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema (69) named two sons and a brother in
the country's new government, after appointing Vincente Ehate Tomi
as prime minister. Of the 55 government nominations announced, 12
were close to Obiang Nguema personally.
2012 Jul 12, France issued an
arrest warrant for the son of Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro
Obiang Nguema after he refused to be interviewed by magistrates on
graft charges. He declined to be interviewed claiming immunity as
Equatorial Guinea's vice president.
2012 Jul 17, The
UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea Int’l. Prize for Research in the Life
Sciences went to scientists from Egypt, Mexico and South Africa. The
prize was sponsored by Equatorial Guinea’s Pres. Teodoro Obiang
Nguema, who faced major allegations of corruption.
(Econ, 7/21/12, p.sd43)
2012 Jul 19, France seized a
six-storey mansion on the chic Avenue Foch in the 16th district,
reportedly worth between 100 and 150 million euros, in connection
with an investigation into Teodorin Obiang, the son of Equatorial
Guinea leader Teodoro Obiang Nguema.
2012 Jul 26, The UN's food
agency said 10 Central African countries have agreed to take part in
a regional initiative to monitor the Congo Basin, one of the world's
largest primary rainforests. They included Burundi, Cameroon,
Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo,
Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda and Sao Tome and Principe.
2012 Oct 22, In Equatorial
Guinea Fabian Nsue Nguema, a prominent human rights lawyer, went
missing during a visit to a prison. Equatorial Guinean law prohibits
secret and warrantless detentions, and stipulates that charges must
be filed within 72 hours of an arrest.
2013 Nov 9, Oil-rich Equatorial
Guinea said it would block an agreement between central African
countries to allow people from the region to circulate freely, due
to fears it would be flooded with immigrants.