Gabon opposition parties are demanding
an end to what they describe as intimidation after their leaders were barred
from leaving the country.
The interior ministry announced the travel ban for
all opposition leaders after post-election violence engulfed the oil-city of
electoral commission declared Ali Ben Bongo, winner of the August 30th presidential election to succeed his father who ruled Gabon for
more than four decades.
But opposition supporters dismissed the election result
as a charade, leading to violent protests that left several dead and destroyed
Desire Ename, publisher
of Gabon's independent Echos Dunord newspaper said there are indications that
the government blames the opposition for the violence.
is information we got this morning that most opponents and former candidates
should not leave the country for investigation reasons. This is what the
ministry of interior said today," Ename
said a leading opposition leader was prevented from leaving the country.
Mba Abessole (presidential candidate) wanted to go to Abidjan, Ivory Coast and
he was stopped at the airport by police officers. And it is the police officers
who made him (aware) that he had no permission to leave the country," he said.
said the government is probing the circumstances that led to the post-election
violence in oil-rich Port Gentil.
is an investigation on what happened in Port Gentil," Ename said.
said there are indications the government suspects the opposition was behind
is what they (government) are trying to show because some members of the party
in power during the different (protests), they said it in certain ways. They
put a link between what happened in Port Gentil… to the former opposition
candidates," he said.
said residents of the oil-rich city are noted for their protests of unfair
happened in Port Gentil was a spontaneous reaction from the population who
thought that the result of the election was not fair at all," Ename said.
said Port Gentil is now reported calm following violent protesters' clashes
with security forces over the August 30th vote.
protesters went on a rampage, reportedly torching a police station, markets, and the French Consulate,
shortly after the electoral commission declared Ali Ben Bongo winner of the
The government says that more than 311 people have so far
been arrested in connection with the protests.