The Equatoguinean-Cameroonian border has remained closed for over two weeks as of Monday, January 8, amid ongoing tensions following an alleged coup attempt against Equatoguinean President Teodoro Obiang Nguema. The daily lives and commerce of local residents on both sides of the border (including in the Cameroonian town of Kye-Ossi, among others in the region), who typically engage in cross-border trade, have been disrupted since the border was closed on December 24, shortly before the coup attempt on December 27-28. It is unclear for how long the closure will remain in effect.
Associated clashes also took place between Equatoguinean security forces and suspected mercenaries in Ebibeyin (near the borders with Equatorial Guinea and Gabon) on Wednesday, January 3. Commercial disruptions are expected to continue in the area until the border reopens; additional clashes are possible in the area in the coming weeks.
On January 3, officials confirmed that security forces had successfully thwarted what Security Minister Nicholas Nchama stated was an attempt by radical opposition parties to stage a coup on December 27 and 28. According to Nchama, the plotters had hired mercenaries to overthrow President Nguema. Cameroonian security forces reportedly assisted Guinean forces in detaining at least 30 heavily armed men over the border in Cameroon who were allegedly preparing to launch the coup attempt.
This was the second coup attempt thwarted in Equatorial Guinea since 2004 and came after recent legislative and municipal elections held on November 12, in which the Equatorial Guinean Electoral Commission declared the country's ruling Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE) the overall winner. The PDGE, led by President Obiang, won every seat in the Senate, control of all local town councils in the country, and all but one seat in the Chamber of Deputies. The opposition Citizens' Party for Innovation (CI) has claimed multiple incidences of electoral fraud. President Obiang, nearing 40 years in power, was re-elected to a fifth term in office in 2016.
Individuals present in Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon are advised to remain vigilant, prepare for associated travel and commercial disruptions near the shared border, and report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities. Individuals in the countries are also advised to contact their local diplomatic mission for further details regarding entry and exit requirements.
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