Thursday, March 11, 2004

Plot uncovered...

After the recent arrest of 67 "suspected mercenaries", Zimbabwe has "accused Britain, the United States and Spain" of "plotting a coup in the oil-rich African nation of Equatorial Guinea." Zimbabwe, however, is a little short on evidence:

Zimbabwe accused Britain, the United States and Spain yesterday of plotting a coup in the oil-rich African nation of Equatorial Guinea and threatened 67 suspected mercenaries arrested at the Harare airport with the death penalty.

Zimbabwean Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi said Simon Mann, the British leader of the group and a former member of the British Special Air Service, confessed under police questioning to a plan to oust President Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea.

The leader of the small West African state said yesterday that he was certain the arrested men had been preparing to oust him. He also said President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa had warned him that mercenaries were heading to his country.

The accusation by Zimbabwe is likely to further poison its relations with the West. It could be exploited by the regime of President Robert Mugabe, which constantly refers in the state-run media to "white, imperialist, British plots to destabilize Africa."


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