Gabon suspends opposition media

2012-01-04 21:32

Libreville - Gabon authorities have slapped a temporary ban on two opposition media outlets after they covered an address to the nation by opposition leader Andre Mba Obame, who declared himself president last year.

The National Communication Council has withdrawn the broadcast licence from Mba Obame's private television station TV+ for three months and banned Echoes of the North newspaper for two months, according to a statement in the press on Wednesday.

They are accused of action "likely to undermine public order" after they covered a ceremony where Mba Obame issued New Year "greetings to the nation" and reiterated his claim to be president of the oil-rich west African country, the council said.

"You clearly and freely chose me to lead our country... the liberation of our country is near," said Mba Obame, who claims that President Ali Bongo's 2009 poll victory was an "electoral coup".

He charged that private media in Gabon were being "sabotaged to prevent the truth being known".

Mba Obame's National Union party was dissolved by the authorities in January 2011 after he declared himself president.

The communication council said that Mba Obame's ceremony giving greetings to the people of Gabon was a "republican act which can only be conducted by... the head of state".

TV+ said its programmes were sabotaged during last month's legislative polls that were won by the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party which backs Bongo Ondimba after a boycott by many opposition parties.

But the constitutional court said on Monday it has received dozens of demands from both the opposition and the ruling party for the annulment of the results of the December 17 vote, amid claims by some of massive fraud.

In his own New Year's greetings on Wednesday, Bongo called for the regulatory body to take tougher action against what he described as "numerous errors by certain media outlets" while insisting he was committed to freedom of speech.

Read more on:    andre mba obame  |  gabon  |  media  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.