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Rio Muni

the mainland portion of Equatorial Guinea

map of Rio Muni

Rio Muni accounts for 10,124 square miles of Equatorial Guinea's total area of 10,830 square miles. Most of the land is low, although the Crystal Mountains rise to a height of 3,937 feet. The main river is the Benito, which is about 200 mile long. The Campo River forms part of the northern border, while the Muni River, for which the region is named, forms part of the southern border. Timber, gold, and manganese are the region's principal resources.

About 883,000 people, about 72% of the country's total population, live in the region. The vast majority of the population are Fang, and Fang-Ntumu and Fang-Okah are the principal languages. The largest city is Bata, which also serves as the regional administrative capital. Other major towns include Evinayong, Ebebiyin, Acalayong, Acurenam, Mongomo, Sevilla de Niefang, Valladolid de los Bimbiles, and Mbini.

Rio Muni is divided into five provinces -- Centro Sur, Djibloho, Kie-Ntem, Litoral, and Wele-Nzas. The islands of Corisco, Elobey Grande, and Elobey Chico are also administratively linked to the region.

Spain's interest in what became Rio Muni began in 1843, when it annexed Corisco and the Elobey islands. Spanish explorers staked out claims on the mainland as far as the Ubangi River, but Spain made no serious effort to solidify those claims until after it had lost its West Indian and Pacific colonies in the Spanish-American War. Extended negotiations with the French and British led to finalization of the borders in 1900, upon which the territory became part of the colony of Spanish Guinea. Rio Muni gained independence as part of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea on October 12, 1968.

Spanish-American War

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This page was last updated on 01/06/2018.