Equitorial Guinea group slams Teodorin promotion

2012-05-24 22:21

Cape Town - A human rights lawyer from Equatorial Guinea on Thursday criticised the appointment of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema's corruption-tainted eldest son as his deputy.

Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue or "Teodorin", whose US assets are under scrutiny and is wanted for money laundering in France was sworn in on Monday.

"It is telling that this irresponsible, illiterate young man is given this position of power, it's only eventually to move him to the position of president," said Tutu Alicante, executive director of the US-based rights organisation EG Justice.

Alicante was speaking on the sidelines of a forum of activists and academics discussing continental affairs.

He alleged that, to win the military over to the decision, Obiang doubled the pay of all personnel.

"This is an increase of salaries that parliament has not approved. Obiang has done this only to protect his son's new position," Alicante said.

Equatorial Guinea is sub-Saharan Africa's third biggest oil producer.

"Teorodin" is best known for his love of sports cars and relationships with US rap artists than for his political experience and his appointment as vice president has further fuelled fears that Africa's longest-ruling head of state was lining his son up for succession.

French prosecutors have called for an international arrest warrant to be issued for Teodorin to face questioning in a probe into the sources of money spent in France by Obiang, Congo-Brazzaville's President Denis Sassou Nguesso, and Omar Bongo, the late president of Gabon.

Read more on:    teodoro obiang nguema  |  equatorial guinea  |  west africa

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