Press release in support of Gabonese people

Let’s avoid a stalemate in the post-election situation

We, Africtivistes, are closely following the situation in Gabon, after the 27 August 2016 presidential election in which 628,000 citizens voted to choose between incumbent President Ali Bongo and the main contender of the united opposition, Jean Ping.

After delaying the announcement of the result, the National Autonomous and Permanent Electoral Commission (CENAP) announced on 31 August the re-election of Ali Bongo with 49.80% of the votes against 48.23% for Jean Ping.

This triggered an outburst of anger in the country while the opposition and civil society challenge the re-election of Ali Bongo, calling it an electoral hold-up.

Peaceful demonstrators in Libreville, Port-Gentil, Oyem Lambaréné, Franceville ... were fiercely repressed.

The government declared that 3 people had died, 105 others were wounded and 1000 people had been arrested. However, the opposition stated that no fewer than 50 people had died in the aftermaths of the election results announcements.

Several opposition leaders were held at the campaign headquarters of candidate Jean Ping for several days –after the premises were raided - and were released after intervention of the international community.

Given this political climate, the European Union and the United Nations who monitored the election have called for the publication of the minutes of the polling stations and the vote recount in order to find a solution to the dispute between political actors. However, that approach does not seem appropriate for the regime in place.

It could be recalled that the opposition had challenged the election of Ali Bongo in 2009. This was followed by a week of riots in Port-Gentil, the economic capital.

To avoid a worsening of the Gabonese crisis, we Africtivistes, add our voice to that of the international community to express the same concerns and propose solutions for a successful resolution of the situation.

As such, Africtivistes:

Express its solidarity with the people of Gabon in these trying times;

Strongly condemn all forms of violence to resolve the election disputes;

Protest against the brutal force used by the security forces against barehanded Gabonese protesters;

Call for an independent investigation to shed light on human rights violations and abuses committed during the post-electoral crisis;

Call on the international community as a whole to actively get involved to help Gabonese find a peaceful solution to the current crisis,

Finally, Africtivistes urge all stakeholders to exercise restraint so as to prioritize dialogue as the only solution in resolving the post-election crisis

Done in Dakar, 7th September 2016


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