News24

Equatorial Guinea troops to get better deal

2012-08-14 19:56

Malabo - Equatorial Guinea's top defence official, the son of President Teodoro Obiang, toured military barracks on Tuesday promising better living conditions in exchange for better behaviour.

"We must change the image of the Equatorial Guinea army," Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the second vice president in charge of defence, told the soldiers in remarks broadcast by state radio on Monday.

"I will build hospitals, schools, modern pharmacies and company stores where the soldier will feel at ease," said Obiang, nicknamed Teodorin, as he kicked off the tour.

Soldiers in the impoverished but oil-rich west African state have been accused of extorting money from civilians, sometimes violently and with complete impunity.

Teodorin himself faces corruption charges, and France last month issued an international arrest warrant for him and seized his multi-million-dollar Paris mansion.

The elder Obiang, who has ruled the former Spanish colony with an iron fist since 1979, named his son second vice president in May under constitutional reforms.

The opposition charged that the younger man was being groomed to succeed his father.