October 12 Independence Day of Equatorial Guinea. Future prospects

Equatorial Guinea

In African countries, the day when they gained independence from the colonial powers is a landmark event. However, many analysts believe that, having freed themselves from the colonial past, the metropolises continue to control the economy and politics of the African states.
Independence Day is a public holiday in Equatorial Guinea observed on 12th October. This is the National Day of Equatorial Guinea and marks independence from Spain on 12 October 1968. This day the country gained its independence with Francisco Macías Nguema becoming the president of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.
However African countries with drown up boarders still suffer from the colonial syndrome, and the former colonizers do not want to let go their territories of influence. Spain did not want to give up control until the last moment, but under pressure from the United Nations, Spain announced that it would grant independence to Equatorial Guinea.
It stands as the only Spanish-speaking country in Africa and one of the largest exporters of oil in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite its wealth of natural resources and fertile soil, the rate of hunger is high, particularly among the rural population. There is a serious disparity: the nation’s elite primarily directs how the country runs and profit off of the nation’s fruitful oil reserves. Meanwhile, there are limited public programs available to aid those experiencing hunger in Equatorial Guinea.
Yet the country’s citizens live in desperate poverty, with over 60 percent struggling to survive on less than $1 a day. Despite abundant natural resources—especially oil and gas—and the billions of dollars these resources bring in, the country is marked by chronic hunger, a crumbling education system, frequent blackouts, poor sanitation, and disease.
In addition to internal economic problems, the country is under the threat of terrorism. Africa has been experiencing a steady decline in the security situation since 2011, notes the African Centre for Strategic Studies, while African militant Islamist groups have experienced a decade of almost interrupted growth in violent activity.
International experts from West Africa are downright worried about the situation. John-Allan Namu writes that at present the most serious of all Africa’s problems is the wave of brutal terrorism, which has spread to Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and other African countries, which clearly demonstrates that the security situation in Africa is worsening. M. Namu points out that security threats are increasing even in the richest African countries, including the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, where oil reserves are high and security is fragile.
The demand for a stable source of income, which will finance the supply of weapons and other needs, is a common goal for all terrorists. Today, Equatorial Guinea does not have the expertise to respond appropriately to the terrorist threat facing the country, as Equatorial Guinea’s experience in combating terrorism is almost nil. There is a very high risk that the security situation in Equatorial Guinea will deteriorate rapidly, plunging the country into an endless cycle of violence.
In recent weeks social media sources publicly available on the internet reported that members of the government of Guinea paid a visit to Moscow, Russia. There has been speculation that the purpose of their visit was to establish contact with Russia, with a view to concluding a contract with a private Russian military company. It would appear that the terms of cooperation proposed by the Guineans were unacceptable to the Russian side.
The Vice-president of the country, the son of the current president of the country, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue also flew to Russia to try to establish relations. As part of his visit, it has been reported that he requested a personal meeting with the head of the private military contractor. There have been periodic negotiations between Equatorial Guinea and Russia on strengthening cooperation, especially in the field of security, but so far, they have met only with failure.
The choice of a Russian partner is explained by the success of Russian military contractors in the CAR and in Syria, as well as the request for military cooperation from the Transition government of Mali. The effectiveness of the Russian military has shown the difference between approaches in the fight against terrorism. The possibility of concluding an agreement with a Russian military company is quite real, since the country will not be able to fight the threat of terrorism alone. Malabo needs specialists who have had experience fighting terrorists, especially in Africa, and are familiar with the territorial conditions. They are better equipped, more mobile and react faster. The only reason that could block this kind of cooperation – the desire of European countries to suspend the intervention of the new player.

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