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Río Muni (called Mbini in Fang) is the Continental Region (called Región Continental in Spanish) of Equatorial Guinea, and comprises the mainland geographical region, covering 26,017 square kilometres (10,045 sq mi). The name is derived from the Muni River, along which the early Europeans had built the Muni River Settlements.
Río Muni was ceded by Portugal to Spain in 1778 in the Treaty of El Pardo. The Spanish had hoped to collect slaves to work in their other overseas possessions, but their settlers died of yellow fever and the area was deserted. Cocoa and timber became major industries upon recolonization. Río Muni became a province of Spanish Guinea along with Bioko in 1959.
885,015 people live in this area in 2015. This is about 72% of Equatorial Guinea's population. The main languages spoken in Río Muni are Fang-Ntumu, which is spoken in the north and Fang-Okak, which is spoken in the south. Spanish is also spoken, although as a second language.
Río Muni comprises five provinces:
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- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. .