Dozens still held in Gabon over post-election violence

2016-10-01 09:42
File: AFP

File: AFP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Libreville - At least 70 people, including several opposition figures, were still in detention nearly a month after a wave of post-election violence erupted in Gabon, a judicial source said on Friday.

Thirty-nine people have been charged for their alleged role in rioting and looting that broke out in Gabon after the disputed vote.

They are being held pending trial, the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

At least 30 others have been brought before a court and were awaiting sentencing, the source added.

Violence erupted on August 31 after President Ali Bongo was first declared the winner of the contested vote.

Opposition demonstrators who believed the election had been rigged set parliament ablaze and clashed with police, who made hundreds of arrests.

Many of the detainees were released within days, after being held in often grim conditions.

Incitement of rebellion 

Among the opposition figures still in detention were ex-MP Bertrand Zibi Abeghe, who resigned in July.

He was charged for "incitement of rebellion" and "committing acts aimed at disturbing the public peace" in the aftermath of the August 27 vote, which Bongo won by a wafer-thin margin.

"He is now being held in solitary confinement in a dungeon and no one is allowed to see him. He runs the risk of paying with his life for having the courage of resigning ... during an election rally," said the former MP's lawyer, Eric Moutet.

The former head of intelligence, Leon-Paul Ngoulakia - a cousin of Bongo's who defected to the opposition -- was granted provisional release but was still facing charges, the judicial source said.

Even after the violence died down, the Gabonese authorities continued to arrest opposition figures ahead of the Constitutional Court's dismissal last week of a claim that electoral fraud had been committed.

Bongo was installed for a second time as president on Tuesday, but his second mandate has received a cool reception from the African Union and the United Nations, while the European Union voiced regret the vote count had not been transparent.

On Friday, Gabon's Justice Minister Denise Mekamne said in a statement an inquiry had been opened into a European Union electoral observer mission, which had reported "anomalies" in the vote count.

Read more on:    au  |  ali bongo  |  gabon  |  central africa  |  gabon 2016 election  |  gabon protests

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.

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.