Biography of Francisco Macías Nguema (1924-1979)

Guinean politician, born on January 1, 1924 in Nsegayong and died in Malabo on 29 September 1979, which became the first President of Equatorial Guinea when the country attained independence, position he occupied until August 1979.

Life

He was the son of a famous sorcerer in the region of Río Muni from the fang ethnic group. He studied at the average degree of Bata school; at that time it was renamed African Masie the most Spanish of Macias. After finishing his studies he began working in 1938 in the colonial administration. In 1944, he entered the forest service, which was transferred shortly after the Department of public works. In 1947 he requested a leave of absence to dedicate to their coffee plantations. Returned to the Administration in 1951, when he was appointed administrative delegate of the Government in the District of Mongomo, town which later became mayor. At the beginning of the 1960's introduced in the nationalist movement calling for the independence of the Spanish Guinea.

Beginning of political career

Together with other African members of the colonial administration and a group of University students he founded the Popular Idea of Equatorial Guinea (IPGE), political party of leftist orientation, supporter of the Declaration of independence. He broke with this organization in 1963 because of his different way of thinking to deal with relations with Cameroon, so he joined the newly formed national movement of Equatorial Guinea (MUNGE), more moderate tendencies. Macias radicalized his political stance so joined the movement of national liberation of Equatorial Guinea (MONALIGE). He was one of the members of the delegation that traveled to Madrid to negotiate with the Spanish Government for a statute of autonomy for the region in September 1963. When, in 1964, the first autonomous Government was formed, he held the positions of Vice President and Director of public works. That same year he held a seat in the Legislative Assembly and, four years later, formed part of the constitutional conference convened to prepare the independence. It arose to presidential elections which were held on 21 and 28 September 1968 as a candidate of the IPGE. He was victorious in the second round over rival Ondó Edu, who had been the President of the autonomous Government, by 68.310 votes to 40.254.

Presidency

Thus, Macías became the first President of Equatorial Guinea, a country that achieved independence on 12 October 1968. In his inaugural address he announced the implementation of a policy designed to promote economic and political development of Guinea. Formed a Government that ushered in the country's main parties, the Vice Presidency was occupied by a member of the Bubi Union, Boyo Diozo. He presided over the ceremony which confirmed the separation of the metropolis along with the Spanish Minister Manuel Fraga Iribarne . The most serious problem that had his Government faced was the ethnic rivalry between the bubis of Fernando Poo (today Bioko Island), some 15,000 individuals, and the fangs of river Mumi, amounting to more than 210,000. Confronted the Government of Nigeria when it allowed the Red Cross aircraft use the airport of Santa Isabel during the Biafran war. Macias policy was drifting towards dictatorial positions, trend which is confirmed when he declared a State of emergency. He began to pursue his political rivals and the intellectuals of the country. It banned all traditional political parties and founded the party of National Union, which became the only party in the country.

Due to its poor management of the country's economy went into crisis, what contributed to the nationalization of the economy and its megalomania, which led him to build a Palace valued at $ 12 million. It re-established relations with Spain in 1971, relations that were broken off since shortly after the Declaration of independence. After suffering an attack which came out unscathed launched a campaign of persecution towards the members of the bubi ethnic group, who was considered responsible for the action. During the II Congress of the party of national unity in April 1972, he was appointed President for life. Macias changed the name of the capital, Santa Isabel, Malabo and the island of Fernando Poo by his own, Macias Nguema. In 1974, an International Commission published a report in which is described his regime as the most brutal in the world. The Church denounced the murder of the former Vice President Edmundo Bosio and other members of the opposition, to which the President replied expelling most of the religious country and decreed the closure of all churches.

Violent conflicts with the 20,000 Guinean workers who had come to the gathering and working in subhuman conditions broke out in January 1976. In retaliation he ordered components of the paramilitary youth organization up with Macias attack to the Nigerian Embassy in Malabo. A decree published in 1976 forced all citizens of the country to change their Christian name for the African equivalent. During his tenure more than 80,000 Guineans were killed and almost a third of the population had to go into exile. On August 3, 1979 he was overthrown by a coup led by Lieutenant Colonel Teodoro Obiang, who revolted when the President ordered the murder of a member of his family. He fled to his native village in the District of Mongomo, where he was taken prisoner by the men of Obiang, who led it so he was put on trial in Malabo. Sentenced to death by the Court on charges of murder, treason, genocide and appropriation of public funds, he was executed along with six of his colleagues on September 29, 1979. His death was celebrated by the majority of the population who noisily celebrated it through the streets of the country.

Bibliography

CRONSE, S. Equatorial Guinea. The Forgotten Distatorship. (London, 1976).

JLGC