A trader in the Cameroonian town of Chiossi, which borders with Equatorial Guinea, said business was suffering after the land border was closed last week ahead of November 20 elections. Equatorial Guinea says it has closed its borders to prevent “invasion of mercenaries seeking to destabilize the election”. President Teodoro Obiang Guema Mbasogo, who came to power in a 1979 coup, is Africa’s longest-serving leader and is certain to win, according to political analysts.
Hundreds of citizens from Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, mostly merchants, say they have been unable to cross the border into Equatorial Guinea from the Cameroonian border town of Kiossi since 3 November.
Dozens of heavily armed Equatorial Guinean government forces are visible on the Central African province side of the border.
Building materials importer Dominique Essono said the military is preventing him and many other Equatorial Guinean citizens from returning to their home country to vote on November 20.
Essono said a large number of business people were stranded and unable to move to Cameroon from Ebebiin, a town in Equatorial Guinea. Cameroon imports vegetable oils, wine, canned foods and body lotions from Equatorial Guinea and exports building materials, vegetables, tomatoes, rice and potatoes to Equatorial Guinea.
On October 25, Equatorial Guinea’s Vice President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue said the border had been closed to prevent “invasions” by groups seeking to destabilize Equatorial Guinea’s elections.
Obiang, 80, is Africa’s longest-serving leader. The former military officer who served as Equatorial Guinea’s second president came to power in a coup in August 1979.
He will face two candidates in the November 20th election.
Esonondo opened for the first time, and Monsui Asumu opened for the third time. Obiang told Pan-African Television Channel Afrique Media on Monday that if re-elected he would continue to develop the country and reduce poverty in rural communities.
Obiang says it’s no mistake that continuity is his campaign slogan. His special program, he says, is to open up Equatorial Guinea’s businesses to the world so that the Central African nation can become an economically independent emerging economy by 2035.
Owona Wolfgang, a political analyst at the Center for Political Science Research at the University of Yaounde in Cameroon, says Obiang is ready to win the next, just as he has never had less than 90% of the vote in the last six elections. It is said that
Wolfgang says it wouldn’t be surprising if the old Obiang turned over Equatorial Guinea’s leader to his son Teodoro Nugema Obiang Mangue after the election. According to him, Obiang’s son is the vice president of Equatorial Guinea and a highly influential member of the country’s ruling party, the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea.
Opposition parties say Obiang’s rule is characterized by persecution and torture of political opponents, corruption and fake elections, which Obiang’s party denies.
The ruling party holds 99 of the 100 seats in Parliament and all 55 seats in the Senate.
Equatorial Guinea’s presidential election was originally scheduled for April 2023. President Obiang moved the vote forward to his Nov. 20, in line with parliamentary, senate and local elections.
Equatorial Guinea’s annual oil revenues exceed $3 billion, but according to the United Nations, most of its 1.5 million people live in poverty.