Country of the World Equatorial Guinea

About the country Equatorial Guinea, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.

NATIONS AND THEIR RULERS

EQUATORIAL GUINEA

Size: 10,830 sq. mi. (28,051 sq. km.).

Population: 327,000. Languages: Spanish (official), Bubi, Fang, and pidgin English.

Equatorial Guinea consists of the former Spanish territory of Rio Muni, sandwiched between Gabon and Cameroon on the west coast of central Africa, and the volcanic island of Fernando Po, 125 mi. away in the Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic Ocean), plus a few smaller islands. Equatorial Guinea is isolated from its neighbors, largely because it is the only Spanish-speaking nation in the region. In 1968 Spain turned over the reins of power to Pres. Francisco Macias Nguema, who has ruled the country ruthlessly. He has jailed and killed his opposition (including most of the educated class), forcing as much as one quarter of the population into exile. To maintain the country's cacao trade--which provides 44% of export earnings--Macias Nguema has pressed more than 20,000 people into slavery. He has also reintroduced polygamy and permitted officials to take women against their will. In 1972, author Frederick Forsyth recruited mercenaries and purchased arms in an attempt to overthrow the government of Macias Nguema. When the plan fell through, Forsyth used the details as the basis for his novel. The Dogs of War, which became a best-seller and earned him a reported $900,000.

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