Equatorial Guinea’s opposition has 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 Andres Esono Ondo, secretary general of the opposition Convergence for Social Democracy.
In a separate statement, the Democratic Opposition Front said 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.
“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 during the frantic mediation effort to get him out of Gambia so that Barrow could take office.
Barrow was inaugurated at Gambia’s embassy in neighbouring Senegal last week and is currently planning his return to the country.
A special adviser to Barrow has 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% of the vote in a poll criticised as not being free and fair.
Human rights groups accused 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.