The high-powered African Union (AU) mission expected to head to Gabon to mediate in its post election crisis has postponed its intervention without giving an exact date when they would start work.
Gabon’s foreign minister, Emmanuel Ngondet, disclosed at a press conference that the mission led by Chadian president Idriss Deby Itno should have arrived in the country on Friday to mediate between President Ali Bongo and Jean Ping.
According to Mr Ngondet, Deby who is also chairperson of the AU has demanded more time to consult with other heads of state who will be travelling with him.
The two other leaders supposed to join Deby are Macky Sall of Senegal and Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo. The AU stated early this week that they were going to mediate in the political crisis as soon as conditions were agreed upon with the government.
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The United States (US) in a statement released on Wednesday said they fully supported efforts by the AU to mediate in the political crisis that has hit Gabon following the August 27 presidential elections.
‘‘The African Union (AU) has expressed its willingness to send a delegation to assist the parties in Gabon in their efforts toward a constitutional resolution to the post-election situation.
‘‘We strongly support this initiative and call on the Government of Gabon to work with the AU to arrange the visit of such a delegation as soon as possible,’‘ the statement read.
Gabon’s post election violence has reportedly claimed about seven lives with hundreds sustaining injuries. The violence started after the announcement of Ali Bongo as winner of the presidential polls.
The opposition led by former AU chairperson, Jean Ping, rejected the results as declared by the electoral body and affirmed by the Interior minister. The country’s parliament was burnt down supposedly by Ping loyalists.
The campaign headquarters of Ping was ransacked by security operatives leading to the death of two people. Some 23 people who were held at the premises were released after calls by the United Nations to that effect.