Press Statement on the suspension of CEID by the Ministry of Interior of Equatorial Guinea
M. Clemente Engonga Nguema Onguene, First Deputy Prime Minister for Political Affairs, Democracy and Minister of Internal Affairs and Local Corporations notified CEID on March 16 a resolution that suspended “all activities until further notice” for “disseminating among the Equatoguinean youth messages aimed at inciting to violence and civil disobedience”. The Ministry’s allegations that during the forum “interventions were made that hinted at incitement to violence and comments were made that could be prone to stirring up a youth revolution” are untrue and unsubstantiated.
The Youth Forum on Tolerance and development in Equatorial Guinea, was organized by CEID from 29 to 31 January in collaboration with several institutions, including the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The forum, the first of its kind in the country, had gathered more than 120 participants from across the country, including young professionals from various sectors and staff of the Directorate General for Youth. After the first day, the forum was interrupted and suspended without any administrative procedure in place by senior officials of the Ministry of Interior and the Governor of “Litoral” Province, Amado Nguema Owono.
To CEID this is yet another example of the restrictive and hostile environment civil society is forced to operate in to play its role for a sustainable development. In particular, this actions adds up to the increasing harassment and intimidation faced by CEID in the last couple of years, in which the organization has become the motor in the fight for an independent an strengthen civil society. Since May 2010, one of CEID’s high level members has been and still is arbitrarily fired from his position as professor at the National University of Equatorial Guinea for non-work related “orders”. In July of 2011, the Ministry of Interior without any justification, ordered the suspension of a training workshop on NGO management for civil society organizations facilitated by CEID in Bata.