Gabon bans opposition leaders from leaving the country

accreditation
Former African Union chief, Jean Ping. (File,AFP)
Former African Union chief, Jean Ping. (File,AFP)

Libreville - Gabon on Sunday announced a ban on opposition leaders, including former top African Union official Jean Ping, from leaving the country in what it said was a "temporary, administrative measure".

"This measure follows inflammatory comments by Jean Ping on August 18 when he called for public disorder, rebellion and insurrection," interior ministry spokesperson Jean-Eric Nziengui Mangala said.

Ping, a 74-year-old career diplomat, was narrowly defeated by incumbent Ali Bongo in Gabon's August presidential election and accused the administration of electoral fraud.

A number of demonstrations have been held in support of Ping in cities around the country, leading to numerous arrests and clashes with police in the capital and the seaport of Port-Gentil.

On August 18, Ping called on the Gabonese "to rise up as one to solemnly mark (his) rise to power".

Arbitrary and illegal manner

Mangala said the "temporary administrative measure" is aimed at leaders of political parties and others at the heart of the Coalition for the New Republic (CNR), which supports Ping.

The directive has affected former prime minister Casimir Oye Mba, who was scheduled to leave for France on Friday.

"At the airport, the police told me I couldn't leave and that they were only following orders," he said, adding that it was the third time that such a measure has prevented him from leaving Gabon.

Albert Ondo Ossa, a former presidential candidate and economics professor, said he too was prevented from boarding a flight to Cameroon last week.

"In an arbitrary and illegal manner, this government has decided to sequester opposition leaders inside the country," Ping spokesman Jean-Gaspard Ntoutoume Ayi told AFP.

The opposition coalition has said it will hold a rally in Libreville on Monday.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you 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.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When and why would you have your or your partner's sperm count checked?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
That's an unnecessary procedure
17% - 648 votes
As soon as we decide to start a family
7% - 273 votes
Only if we're struggling to conceive
76% - 2943 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
13.85
-0.5%
Rand - Pound
19.49
-0.3%
Rand - Euro
16.79
-0.5%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.63
-0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.5%
Gold
1,860.09
-0.3%
Silver
27.54
-1.1%
Palladium
2,769.50
+0.5%
Platinum
1,153.13
-1.3%
Brent Crude
72.86
+0.2%
Top 40
61,062
-1.0%
All Share
67,311
-0.9%
Resource 10
64,119
-2.2%
Industrial 25
88,248
+0.0%
Financial 15
13,596
-0.9%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo