YAOUNDE, Cameroon 

Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea have signed a cooperation agreement on collaboration and joint action modalities on cross-border security, the Cameroonian armed forces said in a statement late Tuesday.

The agreement came after a two-day closed-door ministerial-level meeting between the countries in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea’s capital, and just ahead of an official visit to Malabo on Wednesday by Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister.

The delegations met to consolidate and conclude proceedings that started this June in Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital, aimed at strengthening cross-border defense and security between the countries.

At the Yaounde meeting, the two delegations held an in-depth exchange of views on the development of bilateral cooperation and the importance of a defense and cross-border security cooperation agreement.

In Malabo, they lauded the efforts of both countries to strengthen defense and security strategies at their shared border, as well as the adoption of policies to address various security threats, such as drug trafficking and transnational organized crime, plus policies to curb violence, theft, and cross-border crime, according to a Cameroonian armed forces statement.

“We express our appreciation to the government of Cameroon for their collaboration in thwarting the mercenary attack in December 2017 in Equatorial Guinea,” Simeon Oyono Esono, Equatorial Guinea’s minister of external relations and cooperation, was quoted by local media as saying.

“However, there remain tentative threats from our enemies, who try to carry out macabre acts and cause bloodshed in our country,” he added.

Equatorial Guinea had often closed its border with neighboring Cameroon, complaining of security threats caused by illegal immigration.

In 2017, the oil-rich country said it had arrested foreign mercenaries at the country’s border with Cameroon accused of a coup attempt against President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.

In 2018 clashes were reported between mercenaries and government forces near the Gabonese-Cameroonian border.

Local reports also said Equatorial Guinea had been building a wall along the Cameroonian border, but Cameroonian officials denied this.

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