AFRICA/GABON - Clashes after the announcement of the victory of outgoing President Ali Bongo Ondimba

Thursday, 1 September 2016 elections   violence  

Libreville (Agenzia Fides) - At least two people were shot dead by security forces and many more wounded after crowds tried to storm the offices of the electoral commission in Libreville shortly after authorities announced Bongo’s re-election by a narrow majority in the ballot of 27 August.
On 30 August, the Electoral Commission had announced that Bongo won 49.80% of the vote against 48.23% for his rival, Jean Ping. The latter called for the recount of ballots. France, the European Union and the United States have called for the publication of the results of all 2,500 polling stations.
Clashes between opposition supporters and security forces broke out in the capital of Gabon after Ali Bongo, the incumbent president, was controversially declared the winner of the election. There were reports that protesters had set fire to part of Gabon’s parliament building. The main streets of Libreville bear the scars of the fighting, with cars set on fire, what remains of barricades and the signs of the attacked buildings.
On the eve of the voting His Exc. Mgr. Mathieu Madega Lebouakehan, Bishop of Mouila and President of the Episcopal Conference of Gabon, had invited everyone to consider the vote "as a major event which will remain engraved in the annals of history, and the Country therefore needs God’s help". The Church had organized until August 26, the prayer of the Rosary in all the parishes to ask for the intercession of Mary, followed by a Mass to pray for peace and forgiveness for all the inhabitants of the country. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 01/09/2016)