The Wonga Coup: The British Mercenary Plot to Seize Oil Billions in Africa
The Wonga Coup: The British Mercenary Plot to Seize Oil Billions in AfricaAdam Roberts January 1, 2009 | ISBN #9781846682346
In 2004, Nick du Toit confessed to an attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea. But du Toit and his co-conspirators had no interest in democratic change, only in the country's oil. In this book, Adam Roberts shows how the coup is part of a new scramble for control of Africa, a continent rich in natural resources.
"In March 2004 Nick Du Toit confessed to ‘the Wonga Coup’ – an attempt to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea. This is the story of how the coup was set up and why it failed.
On 7 March 2004, Zimbabwean police impounded a plane which flew in from South Africa with 64 alleged mercenaries on board. The group, led by Nick Du Toit and former SAS member Simon Mann, were planning a coup in Equatorial Guinea. Within a few days of the failed takeover, Du Toit appeared on TV and admitted everything, almost certainly after torture. Investigators soon found that the plot was funded not by oil tycoons but by celebrity investors. Several names were put forward, including Sir Mark Thatcher and a “J. H. Archer”. In November 2004 Britain’s foreign secretary, Jack Straw, admitted that his government knew about the plot three months before it took place.
The target of the coup was Obiang Nguema, the president of Equatorial Guinea and one of the last relics of old-fashioned tyranny in Africa. But the plotters were not campaigning for democracy. Equatorial Guinea is Africa’s third largest producer of oil, and the coup plotters wanted a share of these oil billions. The story echoes Frederick Forsyth’s The Dogs of War, uncannily...
Adam Roberts tells the amazing tale of the coup, recounting the drama in detail – how it was set up and then called off at the last moment, and how the plotters were tortured. He also explains the wider significance of the events and their aftermath, providing a rich understanding of a continent that is still all too poorly known and the great scramble for control of the continent’s bountiful resources."
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