Equatorial Guinea Weighs a Dynasty in the Making

Jan 26, 2018 | 09:30 GMT

U.N. envoy Francois Lounceny Fall speaks in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, on Jan. 9, 2018.

U.N. envoy Francois Lounceny Fall said the United Nations will support Equatorial Guinea in its "stabilization efforts" during a visit to Malabo, the country's capital, on Jan. 9, 2018.

(STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)


  • Equatorial Guinea's reputation for political violence, lack of institutions and relative oil wealth make it an enticing location for coup attempts.
  • Central African oil producers have been hurt by the plunge in crude oil prices in recent years, putting regional leaders on the defensive.
  • Domestic turmoil is a possibility in any handover or takeover of power, but Equatorial Guinea's relative isolation means instability is unlikely to spread abroad.

One of Africa's smallest countries, Equatorial Guinea rarely makes headlines. When the country has made the news, it's been because of seemingly outlandish plots to overthrow the government, such as an attempt by foreign mercenaries in 2004 that included British national Mark Thatcher, son of the Iron Lady herself, Margaret Thatcher. But in light of another failed coup attempt in the oil-rich African country by alleged mercenaries in the waning days of 2017, concerns about the stability of the rule of the continent's decadeslong leader are front and center. With age catching up to septuagenarian President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the uncertainty surrounding a possible transfer of power to his son could spell a bumpy road ahead for the country....

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