E Guinea denies building wall along Cameroon border
MALABO: Equatorial Guinea’s foreign affairs minister has denied that the country is building a wall along its border with Cameroon.
“Those who talk of a wall lack information,” Oyono Esono Angue said on Radio Equatorial Guinea on Friday.
The first official response from the government on the subject came during a visit to Yaounde to deliver a letter from President Teodoro Obiang Nguema to his Cameroonian counterpart Paul Biya.
People living in Equatorial Guinea earlier said they had been told about plans to build a wall.
“All along the border, everything is already cleared. We’ve been told it is the fence where the wall will be built for our border with Cameroon,” one of them, Gustavo Ondo, told AFP via telephone earlier this month.
At the same time, an army officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that Equatorial Guinean soldiers had crossed the Ntem river that forms a natural border between the two countries, and erected milestones in the town of Kye-Ossi on the Cameroonian side.
The milestones had been placed at points “between one and two kilometres (0.6-1.2 miles) inside our territory,” the officer said.
Cameroon’s army chief Rene Claude Meka later visited the spot and warned that the army would not tolerate “any unlawful intrusion” into its territory.
According to a several sources, Equatorial Guinea accuses Cameroon of letting West Africans enter its territory illegally.
Malabo is particularly watchful about the border because it is where some 30 foreign armed men from Chad, CAR and Sudan were arrested in what Equatorial Guinea says was a foiled coup attempt in December 2017.
Equatorial Guinea is awash with oil but mired in poverty and a reputation for corruption.
It has been ruled with an iron fist by Obiang Nguema since 1979.