News

Security Tightens Following Overnight Curfew in Gabon

Gabon's Interior Ministry is introducing tougher security measures across the country after opposition riots brought an overnight curfew to a key port city. The violence followed the announcement that the son of the country's long-time leader has been elected president.

Interior Minister Jean-Francois Ndongou says the extra security measures are meant to maintain order following his announcement that former Defense Minister Ali Ben Bongo won Sunday's presidential election.

That proclamation set-off rioting in the city of Port Gentil, where opposition demonstrators burned the French consulate, looted nearby shops, and broke prisoners out of jail.

Following a dusk-to-dawn curfew in Port Gentil, there were reports of sporadic gunfire Friday. Ndongou says the curfew will be repeated "as long as necessary if calm does not prevail."

The French Foreign Ministry says French troops in Gabon are on alert and plans have been made to evacuate French nationals in Port Gentil following attacks on facilities owned by the French oil firm Total. Those evacuation plans have not yet been put into action with French citizens currently advised simply to stay at home.

Most shops in the capital Libreville remained closed Friday after security forces dispersed opposition demonstrators with tear gas Thursday. Politicians allied with opposition candidate Pierre Mamboundou say he was slightly injured in the unrest and has now gone into hiding.

The violence followed days of delays in announcing final results as the electoral commission split over its authority to investigate returns from nearly 3,000 polling stations

During that delay, the three leading candidates all declared themselves the winner.

But when the final results were announced, victory went to Mr. Bongo with nearly 42 percent of the vote. The Interior Ministry says Mamboundou and former Interior Minister Andre Mba Obame each won more than 25 percent.

Gabon does not have a second round of voting if no candidate wins more than half the ballots.

In his only public comments since being declared the winner, Mr. Bongo said now, more than ever, Gabon should be an example in all areas.

He says this is the path he now wants to build with the Gabonese people in an emerging country, vowing to give all his energy in this term in office to which he has been elected.

Mr. Bongo says he will always give priority to maintaining peace and consolidating national unity. Redistributing national wealth to everyone is a non-negotiable imperative. Mr. Bongo says he is and will always be a partner of the Gabonese people, inviting everyone to combine their intelligence and strength to improve living conditions and security.

Opposition candidates Obame and Mamboundou are both rejecting the results. Obame says some ballot boxes were stuffed for the ruling party and opposition supporters were excluded from the vote count. Mamboundou also accuses the ruling party of fraud, saying the Gabonese people do not want power passed dynastically from father to son.

African Union observers say the vote was held in a general atmosphere of calm and tranquility despite irregularities that included the presence of security officers around the polls, confusion about electoral laws, the absence of officials during vote counting, and some ballot boxes not being properly sealed.

Former colonial power France says the vote took place under "acceptable conditions" and losing candidates who want to contest the result should do so in Gabon's constitutional court.

Mr. Bongo's election is not official until that court validates his win.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs