Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Equatorial Guinea: who is Ely Calil?

I've been meaning to do some homework on this guy ... but The Observer has saved me the trouble. See article here.

UPDATE (Aug. 2004): It seems Ely used to spell his name "Elie Khalil" (see highlighted). Also note that some sources spell his first name with an "i" ... "Eli". I've also noticed that some French sources add an "h" to his last name ... "Chalil".

Elie/Eli/Ely made his millions in the oil business in Africa ... is identified as being of Lebanese origin ... and was apparently
born in Nigeria.

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Africa Analysis (free article) reports that the folks in Malabo think the price tag of this attempted coup was beyond Ely Calil's means ... their suspicion falls on Spain (and maybe France).
Apparently, the coup was initially planned to take place in February when Spain sent its naval ships into the area for exercises. But the authorities here allege that it was postponed after Obiang refused Spain permission for its naval ships to dock in Malabo and to have their exercises in the waters of Equatorial Guinea. The Spanish naval ships then moved close to the disputed islands with Gabon. Obiang protested that the move was provocative since Spain did not ask his permission to exercise near the islands.