Potential Hot Spots: July 21, 2003


The Nigerian government continues to fret about its embassy in Sao Tome, which remains surrounded by armed coup plotters. The Nigerians warned them that any threat would evoke appropriate response and began to mobilize forces, in partnership with some African countries

Angola's ruling MPLA party also warned the plotters to put aside their weapons and restore the government to power. The mainlanders' bluster is driven more by potential lost profits, since the situation appears well on the way to being defused as meetings with international mediators continued. Coup leaders had already agreed on the 18th to the possible return of the president. 

The coup has put the $200 million bidding round for nine oil blocks offered by the Sao Tome -Nigeria Joint Development Zone (JDZ) on hold. Interested oil companies like RoyalDutch/Shell Company, ExxonMobil Corporation, ChevronTexaco Corporation, ConocoPhillips and Devon Energy Corporation decided to wait and watch how things turn out. None of the companies admit to having a vested interest in supporting either the coup plotters or the government.

The coup plotters released the last six cabinet ministers. While in custody, they were kept in the Army barrack's VIP lounge watching movies on a wide-screen television. - Adam Geibel 


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