News

Gabon's Oil Hub Tense After Disputed Vote

Multimedia

Audio

Security forces in Gabon continued to clash with opposition demonstrators following the announcement that the son of the country's long-time ruler has been elected president. The French oil firm Total has evacuated foreign workers from Port Gentil, at the center of the violence.

Interior Minister Jean-Francois Ndongou told French state radio that two people killed overnight in Port Gentil were looters shot by a home owner.

Rioters in Port Gentil burned the French consulate and looted nearby shops Thursday following the announcement that former defense minister Ali Ben Bongo won last Sunday's presidential election.

That violence brought an overnight curfew to Port Gentil which was repeated Friday and will continue, Ndongou says, "as long as necessary if calm does not prevail."

Prisoners in Port Gentil were broken out of jail and demonstrators attacked facilities of the French oil firm Total. Expatriate staff and their families have now been evacuated to the capital, Libreville, where Total says they will remain until it is safe to return to Port Gentil.

The French Foreign Ministry says French nationals elsewhere in Gabon should stay in their homes.

Opposition demonstrators are targeting French concerns because of the long relationship between French leaders and the 42-year-rule of Gabonese President Omar Bongo. His death in June raised expectations of change in Gabon. The election of his son in a vote that opposition candidates says was unfair has renewed allegations that Paris backed Ali Ben Bongo's candidacy.

The French Foreign Ministry says it was not involved in the campaign. It says Sunday's vote took place under "acceptable conditions" and losing candidates who want to contest the result should do so in Gabon's constitutional court.

Opposition leaders do intend to challenge a result that gave Bongo 42 percent of the vote. The electoral commission says former interior minister Andre Mba Obame and opposition leader Pierre Mamboundou each received about 25 percent.

Obame says the results are an "electoral coup." Mamboundou's party is calling on its supports to "resist" the outcome. Politicians allied with Mamboundou say he has gone into hiding after he was injured when police tear-gassed demonstrators following the results.

The African Union is calling on Gabonese to show "great restraint" and abstain from acts that might compromise peace and security.

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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs