African mediators head for Sao Tome

Several African countries on Saturday agreed to send mediators to Sao Tome and Principe to negotiate with coup leaders the possible return of the deposed president.

    Sao Tome continues to be in control of the coup leaders

    Ministers from 11 Central African and Portuguese-speaking countries issued a statement pledging to send a delegation to the tiny West African nation after holding talks in Brazzaville, the capital of Congo Republic.

    The delegation will include representatives from Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Congo Republic, Gabon, Nigeria and Portugal.

    They are to meet coup leaders, who seized power last Wednesday while Sao Tome’s President, Fradique de Menezes was on an official visit to Nigeria.

    '

    This is not just a military coup, this is a peoples coup, trying to identify the problems facing our society'      

    --

    Coup leader

    Army officers who led the military takeover had earlier expressed willingness to negotiate the possible return of Menezes.

    A senior coup leader, Captail Arlecio da Costa meanwhile denied allegations that they had seized power lured by the volcanic islands prospective oil wealth.

    “This is not just a military coup, this is a peoples coup, trying to identify the problems facing our society,” Captain Costa said.

    “This isn’t about getting the oil, this is about making sure that before the oil starts coming in the government is in the right hands so that the oil will benefit everybody in the country,” he added.

    A country of 170,000,  Sao Tome has been mired in poverty and corruption.

    Though supposed to be sitting on huge oil reserves, the impoverished country has in recent months been swept by rumors of deals being struck by high-ranking officials for its commercial exploitation.

    Coup leaders, led by Major Fernando Pereira have said they seized power to form a transitional government to combat poverty.

    Many locals hope the coup would shake up government and ensure even the poor get their share out of the expected oil bounty.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.