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Africa’s WORST dictator becomes African Union (AU) Leader

Posted on: February 11, 2011

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.

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