See also:
» 18.03.2011 - Africa defies AU chief's support for Ghaddafi
» 11.03.2011 - African Union praises Ghaddafi "reform offer"
» 01.02.2011 - New AU leader Obiang calls criticism un-African
» 23.04.2010 - World Bank funding targets Africa’s malaria fight
» 26.03.2010 - Aid tied to service delivery still best, WB
» 17.03.2010 - Don’t despair MDGs reachable, Ban
» 17.03.2010 - Trade experts discuss ways to help poor countries
» 04.03.2010 - Africa’s green energy under-exploited

China wholesale online through

Houlihan's coupons

Finn autentiske matoppskrifter fra hele verden pĺ
Gazpacho Břrek Kartoffelsalat Taboulé Gulasj Albóndigas Cevapi Rougaille Japrak sarma Zwiebelbrot Klopse Giouvetsi Paella Pljeskavica Pica pau Pulpo a la gallega Flammkuchen Langosj Tapenade Chatsjapuri Pasulj Lassi Kartoffelpuffer Tortilla Raznjici Knödel Lentejas Bśuf bourguignon Korianderchutney Brenneslesuppe Proia Sćbsi kavurma Sardinske calamares

Autentiske matoppskrifter fra hele verden finner du pĺ
Réunion Portugal Aserbajdsjan Serbia Tyskland Seychellene Bosnia Spania Libanon Belgia India Kroatia Hellas Italia Ungarn Komorene Georgia Mauritius Řsterrike Romania Frankrike

Africa | Equatorial Guinea
Politics | Society

Africa's worst dictator becomes AU leader

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea

© Gob. de GE/afrol News
afrol News editorial, 31 January
- Equatorial Guinea's Dictator Teodoro Obiang Nguema has been elected to take over the post of chairman of the African Union (AU). "This is the darkest day in the AU's history," afrol News editors comment.

President Obiang, taking power in Equatorial Guinea from his uncle in 1978 in a coup, has the dubious honour of competing for the title as Africa's worst dictator, only comparable to the Presidents of Eritrea and The Gambia.

The election of Mr Obiang as the next chairman of the African Union (AU) - taking over from Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika - comes as an unprecedented wave of popular democracy demands is shaking up authoritarian rule at the northern flank of the AU - for now in Tunisia and Egypt.

There was a fear among many African leaders gathered at the Addis Ababa summit that the same wave of rebellion may hit their countries. When the Egyptian protesters succeed, there will be attempts of revolution also in sub-Saharan Africa.

And how did these leaders react to the popular demand of democracy and human rights? They elected Teodoro Obiang Nguema to lead them through these upcoming times of unrest. This can only be described as the darkest day in the AU's history.

Who is President Obiang?
He has ruled Equatorial Guinea as his private estate since 1978. A US Senate investigation revealed that he has channelled vast amounts of money from the impoverished country to private foreign accounts. Estimates of his wealth start at US$ 700 million, on foreign accounts alone.

His family members hold all major positions in the country, especially in the army and within ministries and companies managing natural resources as oil and timber, but also all national media. The President's son "Teodorín", known as a playboy, has also acquired enormous wealth, including a US$ 35 million estate in California.

Opposition is not allowed in Equatorial Guinea, at least not in practical terms. Opponents end up in exile or in prison. Only one true opposition party - the CPDS - has been allowed to exist, although its leader is regularly jailed and elections are rigged to favour President Obiang.

Opposition views do not reach t

AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping (l) and Equatoguinean President Teodoro Obiang Nguema (r)

© Oficina Prensa Guinea Ecuatorial/afrol News
he people as the entire independent press is illegalised and even foreign media are blocked from the country. Secret police pick up those still daring to utter oppositional views. Torture is the norm at Equatorial Guinea's feared prisons.

Until 2001, there was a special UN Rapporteur following the dire human rights situation in Equatorial Guinea and presenting one shocking report after the other. But at that time President Obiang had started to cash in significant oil revenues, spending much of it to improve his international standing. After a surprise UN vote, the special Rapporteur's mandate was withdrawn.

Now making use of expensive US marketing and reputation agencies, President Obiang is now trying to sell in an image of himself as a respected elder African statesman. The US spin-doctors regularly overflow the internet with news of social and democratic progress in Equatorial Guinea.

He has had some victories. Together with Gabon, Equatorial Guinea will organise the 2012 CAN African football championship. Last year, the parliament of the Central African block CEEAC was opened in Malabo, the Equatoguinean capital.

But not everybody could be bought for Mr Obiang's oil money, it was established last year. The Equatoguinean Dictator wanted to donate some of "his" funds to UNESCO to establish the "Obiang Nguema Mbasogo International Prize for Research." The UN culture agency - also representing the world press - had originally agreed to accept the prize, but massive international pressure, including from Africa, forced UNESCO to drop it.

This is the man that now is to represent Africa at a global level. The man to voice the NEPAD initiative (which now should be termed officially dead) in the international community. The man that will be the chief of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. The man that shall head the AU's fight against corruption.

The African Union yesterday completely lost its credibility.

- Create an e-mail alert for Africa news
- Create an e-mail alert for Equatorial Guinea news
- Create an e-mail alert for Politics news
- Create an e-mail alert for Society news

    Printable version

On the Afrol News front page now

Rwanda succeeds including citizens in formal financial sector

afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.

Famine warning: "South Sudan is imploding"

afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
Panic in West Africa after Ebola outbreak in Guinea

afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
Ethiopia tightens its already strict anti-gay laws

afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
Ethiopia plans Africa's biggest dam

afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.

front page | news | countries | archive | currencies | news alerts login | about afrol News | contact | advertise | español 

©  afrol News. Reproducing or buying afrol News' articles.

   You can contact us at