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Gabon Post-Election Violence: Police Say they are now in Control of Libreville amidst Lingering Tension

BellaNaija.com

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Violence broke out in Gabon late on Wednesday following the re-election of President Ali Bongo, with security forces allegedly attacking the headquarters of the opposition.

Opposition leader, Jean Ping, said on Thursday in Libreville that two people were killed and several injured in the attack.

He said his party’s headquarters had been bombarded by helicopters before troops from the presidential guard stormed the building.

Ping said there had been report of hoodlums breaking into the area surrounding the parliament building in Libreville and started a fire, while the home of Deputy Prime Minister Paul Biyoghe-Mba was also set on fire.

The violence came after Bongo won re-election by a narrow margin in the central African nation, extending his family’s 49-year reign.

Bongo received 49.80% of votes in Saturday’s election, closely followed by Ping with 48.23%.

Presidential elections are held in a single round in Gabon, with the candidate with the most votes winning outright.

Ping accused the government of fraud. “This scenario has been repeating itself for the past 50 years. The opposition always wins the elections, but never takes power,” he said.

Meanwhile, the electoral commission said that almost 60% of 630,000 eligible voters cast their ballot in the nation of roughly 1.7 million people.

To ensure peace and stability after such a tight election result, the European Union demanded the electoral commission make public “the detailed results” of each polling station.

The U.S. State Department released a statement saying it was “deeply concerned regarding unfolding events in Gabon.”

It called on the government to release results from each polling station in order to “give the people of Gabon, as well as the international community, confidence the announced vote tallies are accurate.”

The U.S. also urged “all security forces to act with both restraint and respect for the human rights of all Gabonese citizens.”

The election victory secures Bongo, whose Gabonese Democratic Party has a firm grip on power in the oil-rich nation, a second seven-year term.

The 57-year-old was elected for a first term in disputed 2009 polls following the death of his father Omar Ondimba Bongo, who had ruled Gabon since 1967.

Under Omar Bongo, the former French colony tapped into its new-found oil wealth to become the world’s fifth largest oil producer.

France had also called on the Gabonese government to release details of local vote tallies after the opposition said Bongo’s election victory was rigged.

Jean-Marc Ayrault, French Foreign Minister, said on Thursday in Paris that the election results must be clear and transparent, adding that they should be published bureau by bureau.

Police in Gabon say they are now in control of the capital, Libreville.

More than 1,ooo people have been arrested and at least three killed in clashes with police and security forces

But the mood in the city remains tense, with sporadic violence in areas seen as opposition strongholds.
There have also been protests in several other parts of the country.

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6 Comments

  1. PDP

    September 4, 2016 at 12:32 am

    ………and some people said Jonathan had no option than accept defeat………….

  2. Shao

    September 4, 2016 at 6:41 am

    Oh dear God!
    Africans and love for power even if innocent lives are lost in their bid to retain or collect power!

    Prayers are with you #Gabon.

  3. praizeblog.com

    September 4, 2016 at 7:13 am

    nawa oo

  4. Darius

    September 4, 2016 at 8:09 am

    The Bongos have been in power for God knows how long. Are they the only ones qualified to rule Gabon. Bongo must go!

  5. AMEN.

    September 4, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    It is well with you, Gabon in JESUS’ Name, Amen. “”The Almighty GOD shall reverse your captivity and restore your fortune””/your Divine Destiny and “”hasten to your help”” and “”show you mercy””, you shall testify that “”I saw the wicked man spreading luxuriantly like a palm tree in native soil; suddenly, he passed away and he was not/he was no more, and I looked for him but I found him not.”” It shall be so for Nigeria and it shall be so for you Gabon and it shall be so for Africa immediately than later, to the gory of God, to all our joy “”indescribable and full of glory”” and to the eternal complete shame, defeat, destruction and helplessness of all our enemies, internal and external, hidden/disguised/unknown and known in JESUS’ Name, AMEN..

    “””CHRIST has become a curse for us”” “”that the blessings might come upon us who believe.”” in Nigeria, in Gabon, in Africa, in the black race in JESUS” Name, Amen.

  6. Gaboneese reader

    September 4, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    Thank You Bella Naija. One Day we will take our country back.

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