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Heavy Military Presence in Gabon’s Capital, Libreville


Gabon's capital, Libreville was reported quiet Monday ahead of Wednesday's electoral commission announcement of Sunday's presidential election results.

There was a heavy military presence in some parts of the capital reportedly to prevent any anticipated riots.

This comes after the three leading presidential candidates claimed victory in Sunday's poll.

But the electoral commission announced Monday that certified results of the vote would be announced Wednesday.

The winner will replace long-time leader Omar Bongo who died of a heart attack in a Spanish clinic in June.

Desire Ename, publisher of Gabon's independent Echos Dunord newspaper said some Gabonese have expressed discomfort about the heavy military presence in the capital.

"Libreville today has the aspects of a dead city. Most of the offices really didn't open and many people stayed at home… most of the time we have more than five to six thousand cabs in the city, but most of them didn't really work today. So many people didn't want to go out because of the situation (military presence)," Ename said.

He said the military presence was in anticipation of possible post-election violence.

"Exactly, in many places in the city where people used to gather like places where they take buses… and in some particular areas where most of the times there are riots can start… we had today a strong presence of troops," he said.

Ename said people were afraid of the heavily military presence.

"I think the reaction is that of fear people are really afraid of the fact that without any official result we have already troops in the streets. It is the situations that scared a lot of people," Ename said.

He said some voters went to the electoral commission to ascertain some of the certified results.

"There are some other people who are really determined to see the real results being proclaimed (and) this is the situation," he said.

Ename said all three leading presidential candidates in the just ended vote claimed victory.



"Early in the morning, the three main candidates (each) proclaimed to be the winner of the election all three of them. But the electoral commission hasn't given the clear results yet," Ename said.

Despite the hotly contested election, Ali Ben Bong is heavily tipped to win Sunday's vote.

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