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Equatorial Guinea Plot Takes New Twist with Guilty Pleas


A guilty plea by three South African men accused of planning a coup in Equatorial Guinea is the latest twist in a plot with connections to Zimbabwe, the United States and Britain.

In a deal with South African authorities Wednesday, the three men agreed to describe the plan to end the 25-year reign of President Teodoro Obiang and install opposition leader Severe Moto.

They name a British man, Simon Mann, as head of the operation, who was arrested in Zimbabwe and convicted of weapons charges.

Nineteen other suspects are facing trial in Equatorial Guinea.

Meanwhile, President Obiang has accused the United States of playing a role in the coup plot, which U.S. officials deny.

However, a Pentagon official has reported meeting with a British businessman who warned of trouble before the first arrests in connection with the plot were made.

And last week, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said his government had learned of the coup plot in January.

Observers say Equatorial Guinea has drawn much interest since the discovery of supposedly vast oil resources.

President Obiang has repelled several coup attempts since seizing power in a 1979 take-over.

Some information for thie report provided by AP and AFP.

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