Equatorial Guinea. According to countryaah, the army claimed in February to have fought back an invasion attempt. For three hours one morning, heavy gunfire was heard around the capital Malabo and, according to the government, the target of the invasion was the presidential palace. About 15 attackers were reported to have been arrested while several managed to escape. The government accused the Nigerian armed group MEND (Movement of Niger Delta Liberation) of being behind the attack, but MEND denied involvement and in turn blamed rebels from the disputed Bakassi Peninsula which was transferred from Nigeria to Cameroon in 2008.
The oil-rich Equatorial Guinea announced plans for a major upgrading of its infrastructure, including a doubling of capacity in the country’s ports. One intention is to be able to function as a regional trading center on the day of oil and gas pressure. The expansion is expected to be completed by 2011 at a cost of approximately SEK 15 billion.
In November, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema was re-elected with 95.2 percent of the vote in an election that was met with great skepticism among human rights groups. Despite formal multi-party democracy, the Nguema family has total control over power.
The dictatorship has attracted several coup attempts over the years. British mercenary Simon Mann and four other people, sentenced in 2008 to long prison terms for a coup attempt in 2004, were pardoned in November for “humanitarian reasons”.