The 2015 Africa Cup of Nations tournament kicks off in Equatorial Guinea tomorrow. Critics say the government wants to use the event to make people forget about poverty and human rights violations in the country.
The government of Equatorial Guinea says it is confident that everything is ready for the opening of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. The small central African country stepped in as host of the tournament after initial host Morocco declined in November for fear of the Ebola epidemic rampant in West Africa.
Equatorial Guinea had, alongside Gabon, already hosted the soccer bonanza in 2012. However, Equatorial Guinea’s 800,000 inhabitants will organize the 2015 tournament alone.
“Of course the regime in Malabo is trying to improve the country’s image abroad,” says Victor Nogueira of Amnesty International. The rights group is one of many voices that have consistently criticized the government of Equatorial Guinea for massive human rights violations.
“This is a very repressive, dictatorial regime that continously attacks the opposition,” Nogueira told DW in an interview. “