It’s been nearly a month since reports of a coup attempt emerged from Equatorial Guinea, yet details of what actually happened and who was involved remain scarce.
On Dec. 29, the magazine Jeune Afrique reported that armed mercenaries from at least three different countries had been intercepted in the northeastern town of Ebebiyin, near the border with Cameroon and Gabon. Several days later, on Jan. 3, the government said the mercenaries had managed to infiltrate five towns before their plot unraveled, including Mongomo, where President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo was planning to ring in the new year.
Obiang, the world’s longest-serving president, is notoriously hostile to journalists, and the government blocked Facebook, WhatsApp and virtual private networks around the time the authorities issued their statement on the incident, making it nearly impossible to verify. “There is a real lack of transparency on what’s really going on,” one diplomat lamented.