Gabon’s main opposition candaidate in the August 27 polls, Jean Ping, has confirmed that his campaign headquarters in the capital, Libreville, was attacked by security forces leading to the death of two people.
“There are two dead and several injured from a reliable source,” Ping told AFP. He had earlier confirmed news of the attack on his official twitter handle, ‘‘My campaign headquarters is under attack at the moment by the Republican Guard of Gabon,’‘ his tweet read.
Mon quartier général de campagne est pris à l'assaut à l'instant par la garde républicaine #Gabon— Jean Ping (@pingjean) August 31, 2016
But a government spokesperson said the Republican Guard that stormed Ping’s campaign headquarters were in search of “criminals” responsible for setting the seat of the National Assembly in Libreville on fire following protests by Ping’s camp.
“Armed people who burned the headquarters of the National Assembly were at Jean Ping’s campaign headquarters along with hundreds of looters and thugs”, Alain-Claude Billie-By-Nze told AFP.
Ping who claims to have won the elections denied the accusations saying that there were “no weapons at his headquarters” and requested international assistance.
Violence erupted in the country on Wednesday after incumbent Ali Bongo was announced winner of the keenly contested elections. The results were first announced by the electoral body and later confirmed by the minister of interior.
The electoral commission announced the re-election of the incumbent president for a second term with 49.80% of votes ahead of his rival Jean Ping (48.23%), 73, former chieftain of the late Omar Bongo regime and African Union (AU) commission chief.