Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo

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Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
Teodoro Obiang detail, 1650FRP051.jpg
2nt Preses o Equatorial Guinea
Incumbent
Assumed office
3 August 1979
Prime Meenister Cristino Seriche Bioko
Silvestre Siale Bileka
Ángel Serafín Seriche Dougan
Cándido Muatetema Rivas
Miguel Abia Biteo Boricó
Ricardo Mangue Obama Nfubea
Ignacio Milam Tang
Vicente Ehate Tomi
Precedit bi Francisco Macías Nguema
Chairperson o the African Union
In office
31 Januar 2011 – 29 Januar 2012
Precedit bi Bingu wa Mutharika
Succeeded by Yayi Boni
Personal details
Born 5 Juin 1942 (1942-06-05) (age 72)
Acoacán, Spanish Guinea
(nou Equatorial Guinea)
Poleetical pairty Democratic Pairty
Spoose(s) Constancia Mangue
Childer Teodoro
Releegion Roman Catholicism

Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (born 5 June 1942) is the Preses o Equatorial Guinea, haein served since 1979.

Early life[eedit | eedit soorce]

Born intae the Esangui clan in Acoacán, Obiang joined the military durin the colonial period, an attendit the Military Academy in Zaragoza, Spain. He achieved the rank o lieutenant upon the election o Francisco Macías Nguema. Unner Macías, Obiang held various jobs, includin governor o Bioko, heid o the Black Beach Prison, an leader o the Naitional Guard.

Presidency[eedit | eedit soorce]

He deposed Francisco Macías on 3 August 1979 in a bloody coup d'état. Macías wis placed on trial for his activities ower the previous decade an sentenced tae daith. His activities heid includit the genocide o the Bubi. He wis executit on 29 September 1979 bi firin squad.[1]

Obiang declared that the new government woud make a fresh stairt frae the repressive measures taken bi Macías' administration. He inheritit a kintra wi an empty treasury an a population that haed dropt tae a third o its 1968 level, wi aboot 50% o the umwhile 1.2 million inhabitants haein moved either tae Spain or tae neighborin African kintras, or being murthered durin the dictatorship o Obiang's predecessor. He formally assumed the presidency in October 1979.[2]

A new constitution wis adoptit in 1982; at the same time, Obiang wis electit tae a seiven-year term as preses. He wis reelectit in 1989 as the ae candidate. Efter ither pairties wur permittit tae organize, he wis reelectit in 1996 an 2002 wi 98 per cent o the vote[3] in elections condemned as fraudulent bi internaitional observers.[4] Again in 2009 he wis electit wi 97% o the vote amid accusations o fraud an intimidation.[5]

Obiang's regime retained clear authoritarian characteristics even efter ither pairties wur legalized in 1991. Maist domestic an interniational observers consider his regime tae be ane o the maist corrupt, ethnocentric, oppressive an undemocratic states in the warld. Equatorial Guinea is nou essentially a single-pairty state, dominatit bi Obiang's Democratic Pairty o Equatorial Guinea (PDGE). In 2008 American journalist Peter Maass cawed Obiang Africae's worst dictator, worse than Robert Mugabe o Zimbabwe.[6] The constitution grants Obiang wide pouers, includin the pouer tae rule bi decree. Nanetheless, Obiang haes far less pouer than Macías, an for the maist pairt his rule haes been considerably milder. Notably, there hae been nane o the atrocities that characterized the Macías era.Questioned Abuses unner Obiang hae includit "unlawful killins bi security forces; government-sanctioned kidnappings; seestematic torture o prisoners ad detainees bi security forces; life threatenin conditions in prisons an detention facilities; impunity; arbitrary arrest, detention, an incommunicado detention."[7]

Aw but ane member o the 100-seat national parliament belang tae the PDGE or are aligned wi it. The opposition is severely hampered bi the lack o a free press as a vehicle for their views. Aroond 90% o aw opposition politeecians live in exile, 550 anti-Obiang activists hae been jailed unfairly, an several killed since 1979.

In July 2003, state-operatit radio declared Obiang tae be a god who is "in permanent contact wi the Almighty" an "can decide tae kill athoot onyane cawin him tae accoont an athoot goin tae hell." He personally made similar comments in 1993. Despite these comments, he still claims that he is a devout Catholic an wis invitit tae the Vatican bi John Paul II an again bi Benedict XVI. Macías had also proclaimed himself a god.[8]

Obiang haes encouraged his cult o personality bi ensuring that public speeches end in well-wishin for himself rather than for the republic. Mony important buildings hae a presidential lodge, mony touns an ceeties hae streets commemoratin Obiang's coup against Macías as well as there being a penchant amang the population tae wear clothes wi his face printit on them.[9][10]

Like his predecessor an ither African dictators such as Idi Amin an Mobutu Sese Seko, Obiang haes assigned tae himself several creative titles. Amang them are "gentleman o the great island o Bioko, Annobón an Río Muni."[11] He an aa refers tae hissel as El Jefe (the boss).[12]

In similar fashion tae Idi Amin, Obiang haes purportedly alloued rumors that he is a cannibal tae circulate.[13] Fictional rumors on cannibalism haed been uised for centuries amang the Fang fowk o Central an Wast Africae tae make opponents fear them, o which Obiang is a descendant. Mony testimonies o umwhile residents o Equatorial Guinea, afore and durin the civil unrest, indicate that cannibalism haed been applied as a tool o psychological warfare.

Forbes magazine has said that he is ane o the wealthiest heids o state, wi a net worth o 600 million dollars.[14] Offeecial sources hae complained that Forbes is wrongly coontin state property as personal property.[15]}

In 2003, Obiang told his citizenry that he felt compelled tae take full control o the naitional treasury in order tae prevent civil servants frae being temptit tae engage in corrupt practices. Tae avoid this corruption, Obiang deposited mair than half a billion dollars intae accoonts controlled bi Obiang an his family at Riggs Bank in Washington, D.C., leadin a U.S. federal court tae fine the bank $16 million.[16]

Finances[eedit | eedit soorce]

Obiang haed a close relationship wi Washington DC-based Riggs Bank. He is said tae hae been welcomed bi top Riggs officials, who held a luncheon in his honor.[17] (Publicity regarding this relationship would later contribute to the downfall of Riggs.[18])

His son awns property through his "Sweetwater Malibu LLC" at 3620 Sweetwater Road, Malibu, CA. This property haes the hichtest assessed property value in Malibu.[19]

An airticle published in Forbes magazine suggestit Obiang haes gathered roughly $700m o the kintra's wealth in US bank accoonts.[20]

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. "When Macias wis duly sentenced tae daith 101 times, a new Moroccan presidential guard haed tae form the firin squad, because local soldiers feared his allegit magical pouers." Bloomfield, Steve (13 May 2007) "Teodoro Obiang Nguema: A brutal, bizarre jailer" The Indepedndent, last accessed 21 October 2010
  2. http://www.dictatorofthemonth.com/Obiang/Mar2005ObiangEN.htm
  3. Bloomfield, Steve (13 May 2007) "Teodoro Obiang Nguema: A brutal, bizarre jailer" The Indepedndent, last accessed 21 October 2010
  4. United States Central Intelligence Agency (2009) CIA World Factbook 2010 Skyhorse Pub Co Inc., New York, page 214, ISBN 978-1-60239-727-9
  5. Tran, Mark (30 November 2009) "President Nguema of Equatorial Guinea on course to extend three-decade rule" The Guardian, last accessed 21 October 2010
  6. Maass, Peter (2008-06-24). "Who's Africa's Worst Dictator?". Slate (The Washington Post Company). Retrieved 2008-06-30. "But Mugabe may no be Africae's worst. That prize arguably goes tae Teodoro Obiang, the ruler o Equatorial Guinea" 
  7. United States State Department (25 February 2009) "2008 Human Rights Report: Equatorial Guinea", archived at Freezepage
  8. "Equatorial Guinea's 'God'". BBC. 2003-07-26. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  9. Maass, Peter (2005) "A Touch of Crude" Mother Jones 30 (1): pp. 48–89
  10. Silverstein, Ken (2010) "Saturday Lagniappe: UNESCO for Sale: Dictators allowed to buy their own prizes, for the right price" Petroleumworld, originally published by Harpers Magazine, June 2, 2010, archived at Freezepage
  11. "In his address UNESCO’s annual meetin o governments on 30th October, 2007 the “Gentleman o the great island o Bioko, Annobón an Río Muni, El Jefe (the boss), “a god who is ‘in permanent contact wi the Almighty’” an “can decide tae kill athoot onyane cawin him tae accoont an athoot going tae hell” His Excellence, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, ..." Kabanda (3 October 2010) "Money for good causes: does the source matter?" Sunday Times (Rwanda), premium content that requires login, last accessed 21 October 2010
  12. Staff (28 September 2010) "Africa's Worst Dictators: Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo" MSN News (South Africa), archived at Freezepage
  13. "Obiang 'will eat my testicles'". News24. 2004-03-11. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  14. Fortunes Of Kings, Queens And Dictators. Forbes. 5 May 2006. Archived from the original on 22 Nov 2006.  and part of a slideshow
  15. Kroll, Luisa (15 May 2006) 'Fortunes of kings, queens and dictators: A look at the world's wealthiest leaders" Forbes on MSNBC.com, last accessed 21 October 2010
  16. Ken Silverstein. "Oil Boom Enriches African Ruler: While the people of Equatorial Guinea live on a dollar a day, sources say their leader controls more than $300 million in a Washington bank". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2003-01-22. 
  17. Montgomery, David; Kathleen Day (2004-07-17). "Critics Say Allbritton Ruined Bank He Loved". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  18. Gurulé, Jimmy (2008) "Chapter 11: Private causes of action: using the civl justice system to hold terrorist financiers accountable" Unfunding terror: the legal response to the financing of global terrorism Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, England, footnote 10, page 356, ISBN 978-1-84542-962-1
  19. Staff (11 August 2006) "African Minister buys multi-million dollar California mansion" Global Witness
  20. http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2010/10/20101021155522938291.html