2, September 2016
In Gabon’s capital Libreville, two people have died following overnight clashes between security forces and protesters who are against President Ali Bongo’s announced victory in the disputed election of August 27. Bekam Ella Edzang, a 27-year-old law student, succumbed to his injuries in hospital on Friday morning after he was shot in the abdomen. “He was injured at around 9:00 pm (2000 GMT) by the Republican Guard, who were firing tear gas and live bullets,” said Geraud, a childhood friend of Edzang.
Meanwhile, the security forces shot dead another 30-year-old man in front of his home in Nzeng Ayong district of Libreville on Thursday night, the victim’s mother said. Gabon has been in chaos over the past few days in the wake of an announcement by election officials that the incumbent president had won the presidential race.
Bongo gained 49.80 percent of the votes against 48.23 percent for opposition leader Jean Ping. Bongo, who came to power in 2009, will now remain at the helm for a second seven-year term if the results are approved by the constitutional court.
The 57-year-old president succeeded his father Omar, who had come to power in 1967 and passed away in 2009. Ping, who is 73, had been a close ally of Omar Bongo. He called the election fraudulent, arguing that he is the true winner of the contest.
The chaos has raised international concerns. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on the nation to be calm. The European Union and Western countries, including the US and France, have also urged calm and called on authorities in the former French colony to show more transparency about the election results.