UPDATE – Turkish vice president visits Equatorial Guinea

ADDS MEETING WITH S. AFRICAN DEPUTY PRESIDENT, NIGER PRESIDENT

By Mumin Altas

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea (AA) – Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay on Friday attended the 50th Independence Day celebration of Equatorial Guinea.

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasago presided the ceremony at Paseo Maritimo Street which ended with a military parade.

Oktay had lunch at the presidential palace.

Separately, the Turkish vice president met his South African counterpart David Mabuza, agreeing to increase trade between the two countries and expand the activities of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) in Pretoria.

They also discussed the transfer of schools affiliated with the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) to a Turkish educational foundation, the Maarif Foundation.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt in Turkey on July 25, 2016 which 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Later, Oktay was received by Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou to discuss increasing political and economic relations between the two countries.

Turkish vice president visits Equatorial Guinea

By Mumin Altas

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea (AA) – Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay on Friday attended the 50th Independence Day celebration of Equatorial Guinea.

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasago presided the ceremony at Paseo Maritimo Street which ended with a military parade.

Oktay had lunch at the presidential palace.

Turkish vice president to visit Equatorial Guinea

By Mumin Altas

ANKARA (AA) – Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay will pay an official visit to Equatorial Guinea on Friday on the country’s 50th anniversary of the Independence Day.

According to sources from the Vice Presidential Office, Oktay will meet Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasago during his stay in the central African nation.

During the visit, Oktay is also expected to have meetings with his counterpart and other officials of Equatorial Guinea.

Regional issues and deals made between the two countries during the 2014 visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Malabo will be discussed.

Oktay will also meet Turkish citizens and Turkish investors residing in Equatorial Guinea.

FETO-linked school in E.Guinea handed over to Maarif Foundation

By Tevfik Durul

ANKARA (AA) – A Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO)-linked school in Equatorial Guinea's capital Malabo has been handed over to Turkey's Maarif Foundation, diplomatic sources told Anadolu Agency.

According to the sources, the school has started the new academic term under headmaster Muammer Yilmaz, hired by the foundation.

The school also changed its name to "Maarif Malabo College" with a new agreement that Turkey's Malabo Embassy signed with the Equatorial Guinea's government, the sources added.

Sebnem Cenk, Turkey's ambassador in Malabo, and Fabiola Angono Miko, Equatorial Guinea's deputy minister of Youth and Sports and Foreign Ministry official, signed the deal to hand over the school to Maarif Foundation.

Turkey established the Maarif Foundation in 2016 to take over the administration of overseas schools linked to FETO. It also establishes schools and education centers abroad.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

Equatorial Guinea grants amnesty to political prisoners

By Felix Nkambeh Tih

ANKARA (AA) – Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has granted a general amnesty to all political prisoners across the country, local media reported on Thursday.

"I grant total amnesty to all citizens sentenced by the courts […] for political offenses in the exercise of their activity, serving or not serving their sentence," the president said.

Mbasogo added that the amnesty also concerns any person deprived of liberty or prevented from exercising his political right in the country, according to Africanews.com.

The presidenti also said that a national dialogue will take place from July 16 to 21.

In May, the Equatorial Guinean justice system dissolved the main opposition party (Citizens for Innovation) and jailed 21 of its members.

The move had triggered tension between the government and opposition supporters.

President Mbasogo has been in power since 1979. His son, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, is the vice president of the central African oil-rich nation.

Critics say his administration is marred by corruption and embezzlement.

Mbasogo was the subject of a failed coup attempt in December 2017.

The authors of this failed coup were later arrested.

Ethiopia to train Equatorial Guinea’s military

By Seleshi Tessema

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AA) – Ethiopia on Thursday agreed to train the military of Equatorial Guinea.

The announcement came at a joint news conference following a meeting between Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang in capital Addis Ababa.

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said the two leaders discussed bilateral relations in the spheres of tourism, investment and trade.

"When it comes to defense cooperation agreement, Ethiopia has agreed to train the defense forces of the country,'' Desalegn said.

Obiang, who is on a three-day visit to the Horn of Africa country, said the two countries had signed three agreements, including on labor recruitments and bilateral relations.

"We will follow up and implement these agreements which will pave the way for more agreements," he said.

"As Equatorial Guinea is investing in infrastructure, we will provide the required skilled work force,’’ Desalegn added.

The long-serving president of Equatorial Guinea is the first foreign leader to visit Ethiopia since the latter declared a six-month state of emergency last week to quell anti-government protests and strikes.

Equatorial Guinea leader shuffles Cabinet post-coup bid

By Fabien Essiane

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea (AA) – Equatorial Guinea’s long-serving president appointed a new Cabinet on Wednesday, over a month after the government said it foiled an attempted coup, according to state television TVGE.

The Central African country’s new government consists of 28 members, 25 ministers, and three deputy prime ministers, including close relatives of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.

Gabriel Mbega Obiang Lima, one of the president’s sons, was appointed minister of mines and hydrocarbons, while Antonio Obiang Mba Nguema Mikue, the president's brother, was named minister of presidential security.

Following the coup attempt, mercenaries from several African countries were arrested near the border with neighboring Cameroon.

Cameroon local media also reported that Gen. Mahamat Kodo Bani — a Chadian national and alleged leader of the coup plot — was arrested in Douala, Cameroon.

Only two women were named to the new Cabinet, the first in social affairs, Maria Consuelo Ngue Oyana and the other in fisheries and water resources, Adoracion Salas Chonco.

The president has been in power since 1979. His son, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, has been vice president of the oil-rich nation since 2012.

Critics say his administration is marred by corruption and embezzlement.

* Felix Nkambeh Tih contributed to this story from Ankara.

Equatorial Guinea says foiled coup bid by 'mercenaries'

By Fabien Essiane

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea (AA) – Clashes reportedly erupted late Wednesday in Equatorial Guinea between security forces and 'mercenaries' shortly after the government said it had stopped an attempted coup, according to official sources.

"Equatorial Guinea's security forces shot dead a mercenary in the clashes… The mercenaries fled into the forest at the border," state-run TVGE reported.

It gave no details concerning the number of the so-called mercenaries, or the border in question.

The report arrived on the heels of a claim by Security Minister Nicolas Obama Nchama on Wednesday that the government forces had thwarted a coup plot backed by the opposition.

Nchama said: "On December 24, a group of Chadian, Sudanese and Central African mercenaries infiltrated the localities of Kye-Ossi, Ebebiyin, Mongomo, Bata et Malabo to attack the head of state, who was in the presidential palace in Mongomo, his hometown."

Nchama said Equatorial Guinean authorities had launched a joint operation with Cameroonian security services to crush the reported coup attempt.

Earlier this week, Cameroonian local media reported General Mahamat Kodo Bani — a Chadian national and the alleged leader of the coup plot — was arrested in Douala, Cameroon.

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has been in power since 1979. His son, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, is the vice president of the Central African oil-rich nation.

Critics say his administration is marred by corruption and embezzlement.

On Wednesday evening, opposition Convergence for Innovation party published a list of 146 activists detained since Dec. 29, 2017, following the alleged coup bid.

Lawmaker Jesus Mitogo Oyono Andeme and municipal council member Elvira Beheba Site — both elected during the November 2017 general elections — were amongst those arrested, the opposition party said.