50 to 100 dead in post-vote violence, Gabon opposition says

Libreville - Postelection violence in Gabon has killed between 50 and 100 people, the opposition presidential candidate said on Tuesday, a toll much higher than the government's count of three in days of violent demonstrations against the president's re-election.

Jean Ping has declared he is the rightful winner of the August 27 vote, though election commission results showed President Ali Bongo Ondimba won by 1.57 percentage points. Clashes quickly broke out in this oil-rich Central African country after the results were announced last week.

It is difficult to independently verify reports of deaths, as the internet has been shut off since August 31.

International pressure is growing on Gabon's government to show transparency in the vote results, with French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Tuesday telling RTL radio that "common sense would command a recount of the ballots."

European Union observers have said the vote lacked transparency, and countries including the US and France have called on the government to publish results by individual polling stations.

Gabon's justice minister resigned Monday over the government's refusal to recount the ballots, as Ping has demanded. The African Union has offered to help find a solution to the crisis.

On Tuesday, Ping told France 24 the death toll was far higher than the three that Interior Minister Pacome Moubelet Boubeya mentioned Monday. Boubeya also said 105 were injured in the postelection violence, with security forces detaining 800 people in the capital, Libreville, and 400 in other areas.

The opposition's estimate of 50 to 100 killed in the protests is based on reports from residents around the country, Ping's spokesman, Jean Gaspard Ntoutoume Ayi, told The Associated Press.

"It is clear that the government is hiding the true toll," Ntoutoume Ayi said. "The government fears an international investigation into the deaths of these people. Three dead is acceptable. Fifty to 100 dead is unacceptable."

Bongo's re-election would extend a family dynasty in power since the 1960s. He was elected in 2009 after the death of his father, longtime ruler Omar Bongo, and protests followed.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Authorities should bring in the army already
11% - 1898 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
49% - 8728 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
37% - 6472 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
4% - 633 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.45
-1.6%
Rand - Pound
19.83
-1.0%
Rand - Euro
16.72
-0.6%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.56
-0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-1.7%
Gold
1,778.99
-1.3%
Silver
20.26
-2.7%
Palladium
2,159.00
-3.1%
Platinum
937.50
-3.0%
Brent Crude
98.15
-1.5%
Top 40
64,022
+0.0%
All Share
70,741
+0.0%
Resource 10
63,315
-1.2%
Industrial 25
86,967
+0.5%
Financial 15
16,154
+0.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE