African leader a no-show at UN forum in Rome

2011-10-17 12:59

Rome – An African leader whose regime is accused of human rights abuses has sent a substitute to Rome to deliver the keynote address at a UN forum on food crises.

The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation had invited Equatorial Guinea’s president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, to give the main speech today.

A Food and Agriculture Organisation spokesperson said he didn’t know why the president didn’t come.

Obiang, whose country holds the rotating helm of the African Union, seized power in a coup 32 years ago.

Western governments view him as tainted.

There has been resistance at another UN body, Unesco, to a push by African leaders to create a prize named after him.

Diplomats have delayed a decision.

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