Equatorial Guinea

Arms Sold:

Additional Arms:
Negev, Uzi, OPV-62, PSIM


Additional Companies:
Israeli Shipyards, IMI, Magal Security Service, IWI

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Equatorial Guinea


Israel supplied Equatorial Guinea with arms in different deals estimated with more than $100m. Supplied were patrol and missile boats, surveillance systems and rifles. Authorities in Equatorial Guinea must halt decades of human rights violations and abuses including torture, arbitrary detentions and unlawful killings. Also Corruption, poverty, and repression continue to plague Equatorial Guinea in 2020.

Israel – Equatorial Guinea Relations

Relations between Equatorial Guinea and Israel began in 1968 with the independence of Equatorial Guinea. The relationship was severed after the Yom Kippur War and renewed in 1994. Equatorial Guinea’s embassy is currently located in Herzliya, just outside the coastal city of Tel Aviv but they announced in 2021 that they will move the embassy to Jerusalem in the near future.[1]‘Africa is returning to Israel’: Equatorial Guinea to move embassy to Jerusalem, Netanyahu says

Israel’s export to Equatorial Guinea stood on $0.025m at 2018 with the main export sectors being pharmaceutical products, optic machinery and furniture.[2]Economic department Israel Gov – export – country snapshot equatorial guinea An Israeli businesswoman, named Yardena Ovadia, is operating in Equatorial Guinea as a mediator in arms sales to Equatorial Guinea. Ovadia is the Honorary Consul for the government of Equatorial Guinea in Israel and co-founder of the company International Medical Services (IMS).[3]Sources: Israeli Businesswoman Brokering E. Guinea Arms Sales[4]Mission Statement By IMS founders She stands among others behind large arms deals between the two countries.[5]Israeli arms companies target Third World She also built two Israeli medical centers in Malabo and Bata, that are operated by Israeli workers.[6]Israel and Africa: A Genealogy of Moral Geography, By Haim Yacobi, 2015 In 2021 a delegation of the Israeli army visited Bata and worked in three hospitals in the city, operated mobile clinics and supplied Equatorial Guinea with two tons of medical equipment. It is not clear if Ovadia was inlvoved in this project.[7]IDF Mission in Equatorial Guinea/

Military Relations

Between 2004-2008, Israel secured estimated $100m weapons deals with Equatorial Guinea, which involved the purchase of two patrol and two missile boats manufactured by Israel Shipyards. The boats were bought with the intention of securing oil rigs at sea.[8]Sources: Israeli Businesswoman Brokering E. Guinea Arms Sales [9]Israelis to Train Equatorial Guinea Presidential Guard Yardena Ovadia was a key figure in securing the deals.[10]Sources: Israeli Businesswoman Brokering E. Guinea Arms Sales

Other deals include mobile observation platforms sold by Aeronautics Defense Systems and providing Israeli surveillance systems by Magal Security Services for the African Football Cup, a deal Magal Chairman Jacob Perry defined as the largest project in the history of the company.[11]The Pacification Industry [12]Magal jumps on $35m African football deal In addition to that Galil rifles, Negev machine guns and Uzi machine guns have been reported to be in use in Equatorial Guinea.[13]SIPRI : ISRAELI ARMS TRANSFERS TO SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA It was also reported that Israeli instructors have trained the presidential guard of Equatorial Guinea since 2005.[14]Israelis to Train Equatorial Guinea Presidential Guard

It was also reported that Azerbaijan transferred Israeli armed drones to Equatorial Guinea.[15]Israel eases restrictions on defense exports but refuses to disclose its customers

In 2020 the research organization CitizenLab reported, spyware and surveillance technology was likely being used in Equatorial Guinea. The report was based on analysis of the infrastructure of the Israeli company Circles.  Circles, a surveillance firm that sells offensive cyber technology exclusively to nation-states, is a sister company of Israel’s NSO Group, which also sells spyware. Circles’ technology operates by exploiting a common signal flaw in the global mobile phone system to enable call and text snooping as well as tracking phones, according to CitizenLab.[16]Running in Circles Uncovering the Clients of Cyberespionage Firm Circles

Usage of Israeli Arms

Shaldag fast patrol boats (IMI & Israel Shipyards)– two boats used by Navy of Equatorial Guinea, named as “Isla de Corisco” and “Isla de Annobon”.

Sa’ar 4-class patrol boats (Israel Shipyards) – two boats procured in 20011, used by Navy of Equatorial Guinea.

62m Offshore Patrol Vessels (Israel Shipyards– two boats in use by Navy of Equatorial Guinea since 2011.

Fortis Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) (Magal) – Used for 28th African Cup of Nations football championship in January 2012.

Violations of Human Rights

Authorities in Equatorial Guinea must halt decades of human rights violations and abuses including torture, arbitrary detentions, and unlawful killings, Amnesty International said in 2019, 40 years after President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo seized power.[17]Amnesty : Equatorial Guinea: 40 years of repression and rule of fear highlights human rights crisis/

Corruption, poverty, and repression continue to plague Equatorial Guinea under the president, who has been in power since 1979. Vast oil revenues fund lavish lifestyles for the small elite surrounding the president, while a large proportion of the population continues to live in poverty. Mismanagement of public funds and credible allegations of high-level corruption persist, as do other serious abuses, including torture, arbitrary detention, and unfair trials.[18]HRW – Equatorial Guinea Report

Some egregious cases of torture documented by Amnesty International took place between 1988 and 2009. These include 10 members of the People’s Union (Unión Popular) political party who were arrested and tortured in Bata and Malabo police stations in February and March 2009.[19]Amnesty : Equatorial Guinea: 40 years of repression and rule of fear highlights human rights crisis/ Amnesty International documented cases of people being interrogated while suspended from the ceiling with their hands and feet bound together. Some people were also tortured at the time of their arrest in reprisal for the attacks. Many others were beaten with rifles, kicked, and punched and some had part of their ears severed with razor blades and bayonets. At least six detainees reportedly died after being tortured.[20]Amnesty : Equatorial Guinea: 40 years of repression and rule of fear highlights human rights crisis/

In December 2017, police arrested 147 members of the political party that holds the sole opposition seat in parliament following a confrontation with police officers in Aconibe, a town in the east of the mainland. A court later sentenced 28 of them to 30 years in prison and ordered the party’s dissolution. Their lawyers allege authorities physically abused or tortured all the detainees, leading to two deaths.

Despite its natural resource wealth, Equatorial Guinea has failed to provide crucial public services, and does not produce reliable data relevant to economic and social rights.2016 data indicates that at 42 percent, Equatorial Guinea has the seventh highest proportion of children not registered in primary schools in the world, according to UNICEF.[21]HRW World Report 2019 – Equatorial Guinea