Cannibal dictator Teodoro Obiang Nguema has been chosen as the leader of the African Union, sparking criticism from human rights groups. The president of Equatorial Guinea, who took control of the country from his uncle in 1979 in a bloody coup, has been accused of violating the very rights the AU is sworn to uphold. Neither the African Union nor Africans deserve a leader whose regime is notorious for abuses, corruption and a total disregard for the welfare of its people, said Alioune Tine, president of the African Assembly for the Defence of Human Rights. The political crisis in the Ivory Coast dominated the weekend summit in Ethiopia where Mr Obiang was elected. The despot stands with Uganda and South Africa in supporting incumbent president Laurent Gbagbos refusal to hand over power to his election-winning rival. Leaders also discussed popular unrest sweeping from Tunisia to Egypt and elsewhere. Such protests are unlikely in Equatorial Guinea, where Mr Obiang fuels rumours he is a cannibal with a penchant for skinning enemies alive and eating their organs. The nation is ranked 168th out of 180 countries in a corruption index compiled by watchdog Transparency International. Since oil was found 20 years ago Equatorial Guinea has become the richest nation in sub-Saharan Africa yet only a third of the population has running water. The presidency of the AU rotates between the continents five sub-regions annually and is seen as a ceremonial role. Col Muammar Gaddafi of Libya was given the role in 2009, sparking similar criticism.