By James Tasamba
KIGALI, Rwanda (AA) – Equatorial Guinea announced on Monday it will close its embassy in London following Britain’s decision to impose sanctions on the president’s son.
Foreign Minister Simeon Oyono Esono made the announcement on state television, which came after London last Thursday sanctioned Teodoro Obiang Mangue, vice president of Equatorial Guinea and the president's son, for the “misappropriation of public funds” and bribes that enabled him to lead a lavish lifestyle.
“The first decision that the Malabo executive has taken is the total closure of our diplomatic headquarters in London,” the top diplomat said.
“Equatorial Guinea will not accept interference in the internal affairs of the country, which violates the principle of international law,” he added.
In a statement last week, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the measures targeted “individuals who have enriched themselves at the expense of their citizens.”
The sanctions, which include asset freeze and ban on entry to the UK, were taken in line with the anti-corruption sanctions regime which has already punished 22 individuals from six different countries in April.
Earlier, Equatorial Guinea demanded the lifting of the sanctions, calling them “unilateral and illegal.”
"The unfounded sanctions imposed by the British government are justified by the manipulations, lies that some non-governmental organizations promote against the good image of Equatorial Guinea,” the government said in a statement over the weekend.
Obiang reportedly spent more than $500 million on luxury homes around the world, a private jet, cars, and a $275,000 glove worn by Michael Jackson.
Obiang's father President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, 79, has ruled Equatorial Guinea for more than 41 years.
His son is expected to succeed the president.