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