Nigeria sent two naval vessels and five military transport planes to the remote West African nation of Equatorial Guinea to evacuate about 500 of its nationals reportedly laboring as slaves, the News Agency of Nigeria said. The action followed reports that some of the Nigerians have sought refuge in the Nigerian Embassy in Malabo, capital of the ministate off the Nigerian coast. A Spanish newspaper, ABC, said the Nigerians who took refuge were revolting against harsh working conditions on cocoa plantations in Equatorial Guinea. In the past, Nigerian workers have been evacuated because of oppressive treatment, particularly during the brutal regime of executed dictator Macias Nguema Biyogo.
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