Security has been beefed up in Gabon’s capital, Libreville, following two days of violent clashes between police and loyalists of Jean Ping, who claims he is the rightful leader the country after last Saturday’s elections which declared incumbent Ali Bongo as president.
Security forces have been deployed throughout the capital city after anti-government protesters destroyed property, including the parliament
Over one thousand people linked to the violence have since been arrested.
Throughout the city streets lies remnants of burnt material and charred vehicles, but residents say they bore the brunt of a political mess they should not be involved in.
“We are all citizens. All we want is peace, that’s all, the rest.. we are getting provisions, we have to go really far to get them. We are buying at 150 francs. When has that ever happened!” Alex Mabende angrily said.
Another resident, Tephane Binam says they had to do their own temporary security organization as a community. “We held a meeting here in the evening, we told the police that if they see a group here, they are not protesters. We’re just there to protect our property because they were coming here to break everything,” he said
Gabon faced similar violent protests following the 2009 election, in which two people were killed.