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The Proclamation of Independence of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea, country located on the west coast of Africa. It consists of Río Muni (also known as Continental Equatorial Guinea), on the continent, and five islands (known collectively as insular Equatorial Guinea): Bioko (formerly Fernando Po), Corisco, Great Elobey (Elobey Grande), Little Elobey (Elobey Chico), and Annobón (Pagalu). Bata is the administrative capital of the mainland. Formerly a colony of Spain with the name Spanish Guinea, the country achieved its independence on October 12, 1968. The capital is Malabo, on Bioko. Land Continental Equatorial Guinea is a roughly rectangular territory bounded by Cameroon to the north and Gabon to the east and south. Near the coast are the small islands of Corisco and Great and Little Elobey. Bioko, by far the largest of the islands, lies off the coast of Cameroon in the Bight of Biafra. Annobón, a volcanic island, lies south of the Equator and almost 400 miles (640 km) to the southwest of Bioko. Relief, drainage, and soils.Continental Equatorial Guinea The coast of Río Muni, the continental portion of the country, consists of a long stretch of beach with low cliffs toward the south. A coastal plain about 12 miles (20 km) wide abuts the coastal hills, which lead to inland plateaus (called mesetas in Spanish) that rise toward the frontier with Gabon. There are several ranges of hills. The central range divides the Mbini (Benito) River basin to the north from the southern basin of the Utamboni (Mitèmboni) River. The Niefang-Mikomeseng range north of the Mbini River is somewhat lower. All these ranges form segments of the Cristal Mountains in Gabon. The Mbini River (known as the Woleu River in Gabon) runs generally from east to west through central Río Muni; it is nonnavigable except for the first 12 miles (19 km) inland. To the north the Campo River (called the Ntem in French-speaking Africa) marks part of the frontier with Cameroon. The Utamboni River flows through the south. To the southwest the Muni is not itself a river but the estuary of various rivers of Gabon and southern Equatorial Guinea. To the east the de facto border with Gabon follows the meandering course of the Kié (Kyé) River, rather than the legal frontier at latitude 11° 20′ E. The rivers of mainland Equatorial Guinea provide limited hydroelectric power generation and waterpower at some lumbering sites. The coastal plain is overlaid by sedimentary deposits. The hinterland is composed primarily of ancient metamorphic rocks that have undergone a lengthy process of leaching and erosion, so that the resulting soils are relatively infertile. Insular Equatorial Guinea The main island, Bioko, is about 45 miles (72 km) long and 22 miles (35 km) wide. Its extinct volcanic cones, crater lakes, and rich lava soils form a contrast with the landscape of the mainland. In the north Santa Isabel Peak (Basile Peak), an extinct volcano, soars to a height of 9,869 feet (3,008 metres). In the centre of the island, Moca Peak and the Moca Heights present an alpine type of landscape. The southern part of the island, remote and scarcely developed, consists of the Gran Caldera range, which is rugged and indented by torrents and crater lakes. Bioko’s coast is largely inhospitable, consisting for the most part of a cliff about 60 feet (20 metres) high, broken occasionally by small inlets and beaches. The southern coast is very steep and dangerous to shipping; San Antonio de Ureca, located along this stretch, is among the most isolated settlements on the island. Malabo, located on the northern coast, has a relatively good harbour, built on the partially sunken rim of a volcano. The Musola River and other torrents are exploited for hydroelectric power. Annobón is an isolated fragment of the country, about 93 miles (150 km) southwest of the island of São Tomé in Sao Tome and Principe and about 400 miles (650 km) southwest of Bioko. Like the latter, it is a volcanic island but is less elevated, consisting of a conglomeration of cones, including Mount Santa Mina and Mount Quioveo. The highest elevation is about 2,200 feet (670 metres). The small, rugged island is not quite 4 miles (6 km) long by 2 miles (3 km) wide. Climate of Equatorial Guinea The climate of both the continental region and the islands is typically equatorial, with high temperatures, heavy rainfall, and much cloud cover most of the year. Local variations are due to differences in elevation and proximity to the sea. The wet seasons in the continental region are from February to June and from September to December. Rainfall is higher on the coast than inland. In Bata the rainiest months are September, October, and November, with rainfall averaging about 95 inches (2,400 mm) a year. At Calatrava, farther south on the coast, it sometimes reaches 180 inches (4,600 mm). Inland, however, rainfall diminishes; Mikomeseng, for example, receives under 60 inches (1,500 mm) annually. Temperature is fairly constant throughout the year, averaging in the high 70s F (about 26 °C) annually. The temperature maxima are somewhat lower than in Bioko. The relative humidity, however, is higher than in Bioko. Bioko’s dry season lasts from November to March, and the rest of the year is rainy. The average annual temperature is in the mid- to upper 70s F (about 25 °C), and temperature varies little throughout the year, reaching the high 80s F (about 32 °C) in the afternoon and dropping to the low 70s F (about 21 °C) at night. Most of the time the sky is cloudy and overcast. Extreme rainfall occurs in the south, with rain brought by monsoon winds amounting to about 450 inches (11,400 mm) a year around San Antonio de Ureca. Plant and animal life Much of the continental portion of Equatorial Guinea is covered by dense tropical rainforest that has long been exploited by the lumbering industry. More than 140 species of wood are found, of which the most important commercially are okume (Aucoumea klaineana), African walnut, and various mahoganies. A secondary forest growth has replaced the virgin rainforest. Mangroves fringe long stretches of the coast as well as riverbanks. Bioko has a greater variety of tropical vegetation, including mangroves. The continental region has a rich animal life that includes gorillas, chimpanzees, various monkeys, leopards, buffalo, antelope, elephants, hippopotamuses, crocodiles, and various snakes, including pythons. Insects abound, including the tsetse fly and the malaria-bearing Anopheles mosquito, as well as hosts of ants, beetles, spiders, and termites. Bioko has no big game but has various monkeys, dwarf antelopes, and rodents, as well as mosquitoes and other insects. People of Equatorial Guinea Ethnic groups The ethnic composition of the population is complex for a political unit so small in size. The Fang people, who fought their way to the sea in the 19th and early 20th centuries by subjugating other groups in their path, constitute well over half of the population. The Fang are dominant in the continental region; north of the Mbini River are the Ntumu Fang, and to the south of it are the Okak Fang. Holding political power on the mainland, the Fang tend to migrate to Bioko, where their leaders also hold most of the levers of political control. Coastal groups, such as the Kombe, Mabea, Lengi, Benga, and others, have been in contact with European traders much longer, and a limited amount of intermarriage between European and African ethnic groups has taken place, especially on the island of Corisco. Spanish ethnographers refer to these coastal peoples as playeros (“those who live on the beach”). Both the Fang majority and the playero groups are Bantu peoples. The original inhabitants of Bioko are the Bubi, descendants of Bantu migrants from the mainland. The Bubi, unlike the other ethnic groups of the country, are a matrilineal society, wherein children inherit property from their mother. Early contacts with Europeans decimated the Bubi until only a few thousand remained early in the 20th century. During the colonial era they became the most pro-Spanish element of the African population, as they viewed the end of Spanish rule as a signal for the invasion of their island by the majority Fang. Indeed, significant numbers of mainlanders, most of them Fang, have flocked to Bioko since the mid-1960s. Following independence, Pres. Francisco Macías Nguema (ruled 1968–79), himself a Fang, harshly persecuted the Bubi people. Many Bubi, including accused separatists as well as most Bubi politicians, were killed in a campaign that some observers have called genocide. In 1998 antigovernment attacks on Bioko, allegedly carried out by a Bubi separatist organization, were met with severe reprisals, including the arrest and interrogation of hundreds of Bubi. In the early 21st century the Bubi, who by then made up approximately one-tenth of the country’s population, continued to suffer discrimination at the hands of the Fang-controlled government. Bioko also is home to Fernandinos, descendants of former slaves liberated by the British during the 19th century who mingled with other emancipated Africans from Sierra Leone and Cuba, as well as with immigrants from other western African countries. Formerly constituting an influential bourgeoisie, they lost much of their status both when the Spanish acquired the island and after independence. Additional communities on the island are formed by crioulos (of mixed Portuguese and African origin) from the islands of São Tomé and Príncipe; there are also some Cameroonians. By about 1970 these different strata together constituted a minority on Bioko; the majority of the people were Nigerian contract labourers, who lived in compact colonies in Malabo or on plantations. Beginning in 1975, however, Nigeria repatriated at least 45,000 workers following reports of repressive conditions in Equatorial Guinea. The inhabitants of Annobón represent only a tiny fraction of the population of Equatorial Guinea. They are descended from enslaved Africans brought there by the Portuguese when the island was a dependency of Portugal’s São Tomé colony. More … Score: https://www.britannica.com/place/Equatorial-Guinea  

The Proclamation of Independence