Photo: Police in Equatorial Guinea on the hunt for opposition party’s members

YAOUNDE, Cameroon – Reports reaching Globe Afrique have confirmed that “Dozens” of political, economic and social activists from Equatorial Guinea’s civil society groups and the country’s main opposition party have been arrested and detained at the party’s headquarters in the capital Malabo and the port city of Bata, according to a party member over the weekend.

The deputy head of the Citizens for Innovation (CI) opposition group, Bonifacio Nguema, said: “Security forces attacked our headquarters in Bata on Thursday and arrested dozens of activists, including some who had claimed refuge there more than four weeks ago.”

Civil society groups and the main opposition CI party also issued a statement criticizing a series of clashes between security forces and party supporters, many of whom have been arrested, in the Malabo’s headquarters of the CI.

According to the CI, about 55 activists had been already been arrested and detained under harsh conditions since the country’s November 12 general election that gave the ruling party of longtime President Teodoro Obiang Nguema a ‘landslide victory’ with 92 percent of the vote in an election that has been widely criticized by opposition groups and international watchers as fraudulent.

President Obiang is Africa’s longest-serving ruler and has ruled Equatorial Guinea, a former Spanish colony for 38 years. He and his government have been repeatedly accused of abuse by multiple human rights groups.

Bordering Cameroon and Gabon, Equatorial Guinea is one of sub-Sahara Africa’s prime oil producers but a huge share of its 1.2 million population still breathes in poverty.