President Teodoro Obiang Nguema AFP/File / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

Authorities in Equatorial Guinea says it prevented a coup against President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Africa’s longest-serving leader, in December, 2017.

And the AFP news agency reports that the country’s ambassador to Chad had been arrested and was being held in a military camp.

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“A group of Chadian, Sudanese and Centrafricans [citizens of the Central African Republic] infiltrated Kye Ossi, Ebibeyin, Mongomo, Bata and Malabo to attack the head of state, who was in the Koete Mongomo presidential palace for the year-end holiday,” Security Minister Nicolas Obama Nchama said.

The attempted infiltration had been repelled thanks to an operation carried out “in collaboration with the Cameroon security services,” he said.

Fresh clashes were reported Wednesday, in which government troops shot dead a “mercenary” near the border with Cameroon “and used gunfire to disperse them in the forests along the border”, state television TVGE said.

The report did not specify how many “mercenaries” were involved or how long the clashes lasted.