EQUATORIAL GUINEA All in the family 19th March 2004 A failed plot to overthrow President Obiang is the first act in the unfolding succession drama Ten days after the unravelling of a bizarre plot to oust him, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo strode into the People's Palace on 17 March to tell a press conference that the crisis was over and the government's morale was high, thanks to support from Angola, South Africa and Zimbabwe. For now, Obiang may be able to hold the regime together but there is no sign that he can heal the divisions in Malabo's ruling clique (AC Vol 45 No 3). The fratricidal struggles between the clans which have ruled Equatorial Guinea since Independence from Spain look irreconcilable Almost all the ruling group are from Mongomo town on the mainland part of the country. The Mongomo clan, which dominates the armed forces and the presidential entourage, is in fact a set of different clans and factions that holds power. It is part of the larger Fang ethnic group, which spreads into neighbouring Cameroon and Gabon.