N'DJAMENA, Chad – Chad's government is denying involvement in an alleged coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea late last month, saying the dozens of Chadians arrested are mercenaries "and should be treated as such."
Foreign Affairs Minister Mahamat Zene Cherif told journalists Friday that Chadian officials traveled to Equatorial Guinea this week after 60 of its citizens were arrested there following the coup attempt.
Some of the Chadians have been released while others have been repatriated. The Chadian officials also traveled to neighboring Cameroon, where about 40 suspects of various nationalities were arrested.
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Africa's longest-serving leader, has ruled tiny, oil-rich Equatorial Guinea since 1979.
The U.N. secretary-general's special representative for Central Africa is set to visit the country next week to meet with authorities.