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Gabon opposition facing arrests amid calm in major cities

Gabon opposition facing arrests amid calm in major cities


Gabon’s opposition members are facing arrests amid the calm atmosphere in the two major cities of the central African country.

The economic capital Port Gentil where the post-election violence erupted three weeks ago and in 2009 was relatively calm as well as the capital Libreville even after the announcement of the constitutional court’s validation of Ali Bongo’s reelection.

The president of an opposition party that supports Jean Ping, Fefe Onanga was arrested and detained in Port-Gentil on September 23, 2016, local media Gabon review reported.

Also, the former secretary general of the oil workers’ union (ONEP), Guy-Roger Aurat Reteno, was jailed last week to 15 years in prison for “distributing leaflets to incite unrest”, a member of ONEP who attended the hearing said. The source added that Aurat Reteno was arrested with another militant Guy-Roger Ndenguino.

According to the Gabonese Progress Party (PGP), two of its members – Jean-Hilaire Okawe and Steve Moukagni – were arrested for alleged arson.

On Friday, Ali Bongo’s cousin who has pledged support for Jean Ping was arrested in Libreville. Leon-Paul Ngoulakia was picked up by the national investigation body for questioning, his French lawyer Eric Moutet confirmed.

Gabon’s constitutional court upheld President Ali Bongo’s re-election victory early Saturday morning after hours of wait.

Bongo immediately called for an open dialogue with the opposition to work in developing the country.