Equatorial Guinea Recent History

In 1904 a special statute placed the territories included in Spanish Guinea under the dependence of a governor who had his residence in Santa Isabel, on the Fernando Poo island. This governor was assisted by a Colonial Council and a Council of Officials. Then there were two other vice-governors, residing on the other islands. According to Abbreviationfinder, this structure remained in force until 1935 when the area was divided into two districts: the first, that of Fernando Poo, and the other of Continental Spanish Guinea.

In 1952 there was a further variation and it was established that the head of each district was to be the recipient of all power.

On March 17, 1959 one more subdivision brought the districts to three: Fernando Poo, Bata and Rio Benito. The main nucleus of Spanish Guinea, that of Rio Muni, between Cameroon and Gabon, which then had already achieved independence, found itself in a very precarious situation since those anti-colonial states began to put pressure to create the area a vast unitary area completely African.

On June 30, 1959 the colony was called the “Equatorial Region of Spain”. The territory was divided into two provinces, the first comprising the Fernando Poo and Annobon islands, the second the two Elobey islands, the island of Corisco and, on the continent, Rio Muni. Equal citizenship rights were achieved with metropolitan territories.

In 1960 six representatives entered the “Cortes” in Madrid, three of which were colored. In November 1963 Spain, urged by the United Nations, granted a certain autonomy with the establishment of a National Assembly, a Governing Council and a civil governor for each of the two provinces. In January 1964 this structure was definitively launched.

With the arrival of expansionist aims from Nigeria, Cameroon and Gabon, the process for achieving independence accelerated, with the approval of the Constitution, prepared by Spain, even if the opinions were divided. In August 1968 the Constitution was approved and the following September elections were won by M. Francisco Macias Nguema and on October 12, 1968 the country was independent and called the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

Equatorial Guinea Recent History

In March 1969 there was a coup, which failed; relations with Spain deteriorated and seven thousand Spanish citizens, colonists and officials left the country which collapsed at the end of the seventies. Macias Nguema established the dictatorship, did not get the hoped for massive Soviet aid; the coup d’état of 3 August 1979 was therefore inevitable.

Deputy Defense Minister T. Obiang Nguema, grandson of the dictator, took over the government. He immediately set to work; in command of a Supreme Military Council prepared a regular state budget; reactivated interrupted radio broadcasts; he made numerous appeals to the exiles to return to help the country recover.

In the international arena, he reduced relations with the Soviet Union and turned more towards western countries. In 1985 Equatorial Guinea became part of the Monetary Area of ​​the franc and concluded a pact of cooperation with Spain which also undertook to implement the training of the police force, as well as improving the exploitation of the main resources of the country. However, this economic evolution was not matched by the political one; the persistence of the blockade of democratization provoked, on 20 July 1986, a coup d’état led by E. Abeso Mundu, which failed and the author was executed the following month. Despite this, Obiang Nguema was re-elected president for another seven years in the 1989 election.

In May 1990 a new opposition party was formed in Madrid: the Socialist Democratic Party, led by M. Mangue Mba.

Following multiple pressures, Obiang Nguema launched a transitional government in January 1992 which, in fact, paved the way for multi-partyism.

In November 1993, the legislative elections took place which registered a low turnout, because they were boycotted by the opposition that believed them to be spoiled by an intimidating election campaign. Of course they were won by the party already in government and the 1996 presidential elections also confirmed the same result and confirmed Obiang Nguema as president for the third time.

For foreign policy Equatorial Guinea always had good relations with France and also those with Spain, after a first deterioration in 1993, then improved in 1996. Those with China and Nigeria were also good, with whom they signed a economic cooperation treaty. With the latter some disputes arose during 1997 due to oilfield issues. Nguema continued to practice a violent policy, full of repressions, and in March 1998 ordered that the most important leaders of the oppositions be imprisoned. This, despite the convictions for violation of human rights, pronounced against him by Amnesty International. The legislative elections of March 1999 also took place in this intimidating climate and once again they were won by the ruling party.