Equatorial Guinea’s opposition have expressed reservations over the government’s decision to welcome former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh who left the West African country after 22 years in charge.
Jammeh agreed to leave The Gambia in a deal brokered by Presidents of Guinea and Mauritania, he flew out on Saturday night (January 21) and made a stop in Conakry before continuing to Malabo, where he is expected to stay.
According to the one of the opposition groups, Convergence for Social Democracy, President Teodoro Obiang will be held responsible for whatever happens with the presence of Jammeh in the Central Africa country.
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.
Another group, the Democratic Opposition Front, were of the view that Jammeh did not qualify for asylum given that he refused to accept the results of the polls that brought Adama Barrow and the opposition coalition to power as per the December 1 elections.
“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.
Jammeh’s regime was famous for reports of opposition repression and gross abuse of rights. It is widely expected that he will be hurled before the International Criminal Court (ICC) to face charges but his host country are not signatories to the Rome Statute. He had started the process of withdrawing The Gambia from the ICC before he lost the polls.
It is not clear how long Jammeh will be staying in Malabo and under which terms but there is talk of his ability to return to The Gambia to participate in politics. The host government has yet to officially comment on the presence of Jammeh in the country.
Equatorial Guinea’s President is Africa’s longest serving leader. He took power in a coup in August 1979, till date he has been in charge of the Central African country for 36 years, he won elections by a landslide in 2016 and with that extends his mandate for a further seven years till the next elections in 2022.