Thursday, March 29, 2012

Equatorial Guinea Criticizes Illegal French Actions

Statement cites discriminatory actions and attempts to destabilize the country.


The government of Equatorial Guinea has accused French government investigators of acting illegally in efforts to seize diplomatic property and seek an international warrant for the arrest of the country’s Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, for an allegedly obtaining property in France with ill-gotten gains.

It termed the French actions “an open provocation.”

In a statement issued yesterday, the government expressed “profound indignation” over treatment it considers discriminatory, noting that “there are personalities and foreign states who hold large fortunes and interests in France and are exempt from investigation by the French courts.” It said that “property that is legally held by the Equatorial Guinean state and that represents part of its diplomatic mission has received brutal treatment, including by state authorities.”

Equatorial Guinea asked France to “take immediate action to [discontinue] these destabilizing activities,” and said “it reserves the right to reciprocate.” It said that if France wants to break relations, “they should state it clearly.”

French authorities entered a building in February claiming it was the personal property of Minister Nguema and seized furnishings and other items. The government of Equatorial Guinea said that property records in France show that the building belongs to the government of Equatorial Guinea and enjoys diplomatic immunity.

In its statement, Equatorial Guinea reminded the French government of its “obligation it has to ensure the implementation of international law in its country, because despite the repeated explanations with strong evidence concerning the legitimacy of the Equatorial Guinean state regarding the building at issue, the French authorities have remained indifferent to the illegal conduct of their agents and officials.”

Equatorial Guinea termed the actions of French investigative magistrates “unusual” and said that they had “acted without minimally collaborating, investigating, or even informing the [government of] Equatorial Guinea.”

Equatorial Guinea accused individuals in France of seeking to destabilize the country, which defeated a coup attempt led by a group of foreign mercenaries in 2004. It said, “The lawyers of Transparency International and Sherpa, who have interests in Equatorial Guinea, are linked and maintain close ties with ELIL KALIL's mercenaries, among others, who tried to invade the Republic of Equatorial Guinea in order to access, against its People, their oil resources.”

Ely Calil, a wealthy British businessman, is currently sought by courts both in Equatorial Guinea and South Africa, accused of financing and organizing the 2004 coup d'├ętat.

The full text of the statement follows:

The Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea has been informed of the news presented by the French and international media, according to which two French judges have requested an arrest warrant and the international arrest of His Excellency TEODORO NGUEMA OBIANG MANGUE, Minister of State of Agriculture and Forestry, for an alleged offense of ill-gotten goods in France.

The Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea expresses its deep concern for this revelation that surprises the institutions and people of Equatorial Guinea, because of the excellent relations of friendship and cooperation that the Republic of Equatorial Guinea has maintained with the French Republic since its accession to independence in 1968, and for not having previously collaborated with the competent authorities of the country about the conflict.

“With this excellent nature, both countries have signed important agreements on cooperation, mutual investment and mutual protection of property and persons, irrespective of the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

The Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea regrets the lack of professional vision of the Judges and Security Services of the French State in treating superficially the property acquired by the Equatorial Guinean State, with the persecution launched by judges and police in flagrant violation of the Vienna Convention on the Protection of Diplomatic Relations, and the Agreement on Reciprocal Protection of Investments signed by both countries.

The Government and People of Equatorial Guinea expressed their profound indignation over the visibly discriminatory treatment, since there are personalities and foreign States who hold large fortunes and interests in France and are exempt from investigation by the French courts; however, a piece of property that is legally held by the Equatorial Guinean State and that represents part of its diplomatic mission has received brutal treatment, including by the State authorities.

Indeed, the unusual nature of the legal proceedings is worth noting in which the French courts acted unilaterally without minimally collaborating, investigating, or even informing the opposing party, which is Equatorial Guinea.

The Government of Equatorial Guinea would like to remind once again the Government of the French Republic of the obligation it has to ensure the implementation of international law in its country, because despite the repeated explanations with strong evidence concerning the legitimacy of the Equatorial Guinean State regarding the building at issue, the French authorities have remained indifferent to the illegal conduct of their agents and officials.

The Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea is aware that the only action of the judges, officials and French agents is to provoke internal destabilization in the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, since no representation of the Equatorial Guinean society has undertaken any vindicating action against the violation of the rights of the People.

Equatorial Guinea's Government wants to note that the Republic of Equatorial Guinea is not a former French colony having a conflict of interest with the former mother country and that its relations with France are limited to the terms of international law.

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea wishes to recall that the destabilizing maneuvers never prosper in the country, as can be seen by the aborted attempts of the mercenary invasions that have occurred in the past.

The lawyers of Transparency International and Sherpa, who have interests in Equatorial Guinea, are linked and maintain close ties with ELIL KALIL's mercenaries, among others, who tried to invade the Republic of Equatorial Guinea in order to access, against its People, their oil resources.

Given this open provocation against the Equatorial Guinean State, the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea recommends to the Government of the French Republic that it take immediate action to curb the continuity of these destabilizing activities, and it reserves the right to reciprocate, since, if France wants a rupture of relations with the Equatorial Guinean State, unilaterally, they should state it clearly.

Despite the good relations the Government of Equatorial Guinea maintains with the French companies established in the country, we understand that these companies must contradict this action, repair and share the negative consequences that arise from this situation.”