(Tampa, 22 April 2016) EG Justice strongly condemns the African Union’s (AU) decision to appoint Benin’s ex-President H.E.Boni Yayi to head the electoral observation missionin Equatorial Guinea for the upcoming elections scheduled for April 24.
The 40-member AU Election Observation Mission (AUEOM) is to “observe and report on the credibility of the election process and operate in accordance with relevant AU instruments for election observation such as: the 2007 African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance; the 2002 AU/OAU Declaration on Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa; and the 2002 AU Guidelines for Elections Observation and Monitoring Missions.”
Former President Boni Yayi and President Obiang have jointly fostered an expansion of CCEI Bankin the capital city of Benin, in which the Equatoguinean dignitary is a large stakeholder. Mr. Obiang also financed the International Polytechnic University Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, in Benin; and has since been awarded a Honoris CausaDoctoral degree by this institution. The long-standing friendship between these two men, and their business partnership calls into question the AU’s commitment to its own principles of objectivity and independence.
“The African Union has a track-record on turning a blind eyeto the systematic human rights violations in Equatorial Guinea,” said Tutu Alicante, Executive Director of EG Justice; “but, appointing President Obiang's business partner to monitor elections in Equatorial Guinea takes the AU’s disregard for human rights and democracy in Equatorial Guinea to another level. This is tantamount to sending the fox to guard the chicken coup. H.E. Boni Yayi ought to have recused himself from the AU delegation out of respect to the principles of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.”
For more information, please contact:
In Tampa, for EG Justice, Tutu Alicante, (English, Spanish): +1-615-479-0207 (cell); firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter @TutuAlicante @EGJustice