The border between Equatorial Guinea and La Republique du Cameroun, scene of past tensions, has not reopened more than 10 days after it was closed by Malabo ahead of its independence holiday, local officials told AFP on Tuesday
“The border is still closed, nothing is passing through, we don’t know why,” said a police officer in Ebibeyin, a town on Equatorial Guinea’s side of the frontier, who asked not to be named. Authorities generally close borders ahead of national holidays and reopen them two or three days later after the celebrations.
Cameroonians are also mystified. “We don’t understand why the Equatorial-Guinean authorities have kept the border closed,” an official in the town of Kye-Ossi on Cameroon’s side said. Contacted by AFP, authorities in Equatorial Guinea could not be immediately reached for comment.
But there have been tensions in the past along this frontier where Equatorial Guinea has accused Cameroon of letting West Africans enter its territory illegally. In 2017, some 30 foreign armed men from Chad, Central African Republic and Sudan came across that border and were arrested in what Equatorial Guinea says was a foiled coup attempt.
And in August Malabo denied that the country was building a wall along its border with Cameroon. Equatorial Guinea is awash with oil but mired in poverty and a reputation for corruption. It has been ruled with an iron fist by Teodoro Obiang Nguema since 1979.