Coup d’état in São Tomé e Príncipe: Domestic Causes, the Role of Oil and Former “Buffalo” Battalion Soldiers

"It is clear that the country’s future oil wealth cannot be considered the principal cause of the coup, although it probably influenced its timing. The rebels wanted to denounce the unequal distribution of the country’s resources before the oil revenue arrived. They were aware of the possibility that once the first petrodollars started flowing in, the government could buy off any potential opposition. Nevertheless, the crucial factor for the involvement of three inter-state organisations and eight countries in the negotiation process was oil. The small country’s status as a future oil-producing country has inevitably increased its international and regional importance. Thanks to the excessive protagonism of President Obasanjo in the process, Nigeria succeeded in increasing its influence in STP,a process that had already started with the creation of the JDZ in February 2001."