E Guinea leader calls for 'dialogue' after coup bid

2018-06-12 21:44
Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema (Xavier Bourgois, AFP)

Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema (Xavier Bourgois, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Equatorial Guinea's authoritarian president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema, has called for "national dialogue," a move that comes on the heels of a thwarted coup and a crackdown on the opposition.

In a speech broadcast nationally on state television on Tuesday, the 76-year-old leader said "dialogue and political interaction" would take place in July.

"(They) constitute the ways to preserve peace and development," he said in the speech which he delivered on Monday.

He called on Guineans living abroad "to come home, to the country of our birth, to look for all-embracing, inclusive strategies."

The offer also applies to those who are in exile, he indicated - "to all Equatorial Guineans who are dispersed in the diaspora for political reasons, for certain political crimes."

A former Spanish colony of 1.2 million people, awash with oil but mired in poverty and a reputation for corruption, Equatorial Guinea has been ruled with an iron fist by Obiang since August 1979.

He seized power by ousting his own uncle, first post-independence president Francisco Macias Nguema, who was shot by firing squad.

Obiang has since seen off at least half a dozen assassination or coup attempts. He won a fifth seven-year term in 2016 with nearly 94% of votes.

The most recent attempted coup, in December, involved a group of men from Chad, the Central African Republic (CAR) and Sudan, according to the authorities.

The operation was followed by the arrests of scores of opposition activists and the banning of their party, the Citizens for Innovation (CI), purportedly over scuffles that took place before legislative elections last November.

Dozens were tortured, according to the CI, which says two died in custody. In February, 21 CI members including the party's only MP, were sentenced to 30 years in prison for "sedition, public disorder, attacks on authority and serious bodily harm."

Obiang's proposed "dialogue" is the sixth in his 38 years in office.

The preceding exercise, in 2014, saw the legalisation of five political parties, including the CI. The main opposition party at the time, the Convergence for Social Democracy (CPDS) boycotted the forum.

The country currently has 17 officially recognised political parties.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Read more on:    equatorial guinea  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.