Gambia's defeated leader Yahya Jammeh waves to supporters as he departs from Banjul airport. Picture: Jerome Delay/AP
Gambia's defeated leader Yahya Jammeh waves to supporters as he departs from Banjul airport. Picture: Jerome Delay/AP

Equatorial Guinea opposition denounces arrival of Jammeh

By Robbie Corey-Boulet Time of article published Jan 23, 2017

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Abidjan, Ivory Coast — Equatorial Guinea's opposition denounced the government's decision to welcome exiled Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, who flew to the Central African nation over the weekend after 22 years in power.

President Teodoro Obiang will be held responsible "for what might occur" as a result of Jammeh's presence on the country's soil, according to a statement emailed Monday by Andres Esono Ondo, secretary general of the opposition Convergence for Social Democracy.

Jammeh should not qualify for political asylum because he triggered Gambia's crisis by refusing to step down for weeks after he lost the December vote to Adama Barrow, said the Democratic Opposition Front, in a separate statement Sunday.

"We are not against Pan-Africanism, but we are in favour of a more objective Pan-Africanism that does not consist in just bringing over the waste of Africa," the group said.

Obiang's government has not yet commented on Jammeh's presence in Equatorial Guinea.

Equatorial Guinea reportedly emerged as a destination for Jammeh late during the frantic mediation effort to get him of Gambia out so Barrow could take office. Barrow was inaugurated at Gambia's embassy in neighboring Senegal last week and is currently planning his return to Gambia.

A special adviser to Barrow on Sunday accused Jammeh of plundering state coffers and shipping out luxury vehicles by cargo plane prior to his departure.

Obiang, Africa's longest-serving ruler, assumed power in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea in 1979 and won re-election last year with 93 percent of the vote — a poll criticized as not being free and fair. Human rights groups accuse Obiang of stifling dissent and torturing opponents.

His son is currently on trial for corruption in France, charged with spending millions in state funds to feed an opulent lifestyle of fast cars, designer clothes, works of art and high-end real estate.

AP

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