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UN vows to support Eq. Guinea after 'coup' plot

AFP  |  Malabo (Equatorial Guinea) 

A has assured oil-rich it will be supported in its "stabilisation efforts" following a "coup attempt" against Teodoro Obiang, Africa's longest- serving leader.

Francois Lounceny Fall, a former of Guinea, arrived in over the weekend to meet and to "gather more information" on the putsch that said was mounted by foreign mercenaries on December 24.

"We are leaving here comforted by the assurances we have received from the of the Republic, and I can say that the will continue to support Equatorial in its stabilisation efforts," Fall said yesterday in a speech broadcast on state television at the end of his visit.

"The has made a clear statement against the use of force against states. The unconstitutional seizure of power is condemned by both the (AU) and the Nations," added Fall, the of the UN's central African office.

The government has said its troops shot dead one "mercenary" and "used gunfire to disperse" others in the forests along the border with Cameroon, without specifying how many fighters were involved or how long the clashes lasted.

Equatorial Guinea's main opposition party, Citizens for Innovation (CI), has said dozens of its activists were arrested in recent weeks following the alleged coup attempt.

According to the party, which also met with Fall, "besieged" its headquarters for 10 days, only abandoning their posts on Monday morning, shortly before the UN met at the presidential palace in

The information could not be confirmed by official sources, and did not report it.

Formerly a small Spanish colony, Equatorial Guinea has become one of sub-Sahara's biggest producers, but a large proportion of its 1.2 million population lives in poverty.

Obiang, 75, who seized power in 1979, has faced a string of coup attempts during nearly four decades in office.

He was re-elected to a fifth seven-year term in 2016, gaining more than 90 per cent of the vote according to the official results.

Critics accuse him of brutal repression of opponents, electoral fraud and corruption.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 09 2018. 16:40 IST