E/Guinea leader Nguema orders media blackout of Burkina Faso revolt

E/Guinea leader Nguema orders media blackout of Burkina Faso revolt

Sunday, November 9, 2014 9:00 pm

Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo" orders media blackout of Burkina Faso rebellion

Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo” orders media blackout of Burkina Faso rebellion

In a sign of the shockwaves the revolt in Burkina Faso has triggered across Africa, the leaders of Equatorial Guinea — ruled since 1979 by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo– have reportedly banned the media there from mentioning the revolt.

A journalist at the state broadcaster, who asked not to be named, told AFP that staff were ordered not to report the fall of Compaore.

The media blackout of the ‘Black Spring’ as the rebellion in Burkina Faso was dubbed, came as opposition groups in Equatorial Guinea walked out of the second day of a rare round of talks with President Teodoro Obiang Nguema’s government, accusing it of failing to follow through on a promised amnesty for political offences.

Obiang, announced the “national dialogue” – only the third such meeting in the country’s history – in September and last month decreed the amnesty, a prerequisite for the opposition’s participation.

Opposition groups, including political exiles, have greeted the talks with cautious optimism, saying they hoped Obiang might bow to international pressure and open up the political landscape long dominated by his family members and inner circle.

The meeting, which had been due to discuss issues including the participation of opposition movements in the country’s politics, opened on Friday. But the Convergence for Social Democracy (CPDS) party – the only opposition group represented in parliament – and its allies left the negotiating table on Saturday, dealing an early blow to the talks.

“We have said very clearly that it seems irresponsible to continue at the table while our comrades are in prison,” said Daniel Ayecaba Dario, head of the opposition Popular Union party.

Long accused of corruption and political repression by rights campaigners, the central African country has embarked on a charm offensive in recent years as it seeks to diversify its economy and attract new investors.

The amnesty decreed by the president last month allowed political exiles, some of whom have been convicted of crimes in absentia, to return to the country to participate in the talks.

Opposition groups have been calling for the release of prisoners whom it says were imprisoned for political reasons. The government says the prisoners in question were imprisoned for criminal not political offences.

The government’s delegation at the talks denied the country was still holding political prisoners and said the opposition was undermining the law by calling for prisoners to be freed.

*From reports by AFP and Reuters

Join The Conversation

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.