Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Exiled Opposition Leader Returns to a Changed Equatorial Guinea

Sibacha Bueicheku credits government for reforms and development and urges exiles to return

Sibacha Bueicheku, chairman of the Union for Democracy and Social Development party and deputy coordinator of the Common Front of the Opposition in Exile, has returned to Equatorial Guinea after living abroad in Spain for 35 years.

Bueicheku told local media that he was struck by the dramatic changes in the country. “Since my arrival here, I’m completely amazed because the reality is different from the information given to us by those who are outside the country,” he said.

He said that western media and critics of Equatorial Guinea’s government had misrepresented the situation in the country.

Bueicheku praised the country’s progress in improving infrastructure and raising the standard of living in the country as well as its democratic development, and encouraged other opposition figures in self-imposed exile to return home and promote peace. “This is what we have to do, unite, because they are not going to fix our society from abroad. Everything is a pure distraction,” he said.

President Obiang has long encouraged Equatoguineans living abroad to return to the country.

The government of Equatorial Guinea has implemented several reform and infrastructure projects in the recent years as part of the country’s Horizon 2020 development plan, which was launched by President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in 2007. Some of the projects include the development of new African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa; the establishment of GECOMSA, a telecom company with improved wireless and internet connectivity; constitutional reform; and an expansion to the liquefied natural gas (LNG) Train project.