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Gabon warns opposition against incitement ahead of Friday's court ruling


Gabon’s opposition leader, Jean Ping has been warned against social unrest when the Constitutional Court rules on his challenge of last month’s presidential election outcome.

This was said by the government spokesman on Wednesday, further warning that Ping risks arrest if he incites his supporters to take to the streets after the court ruling.

“We expect more responsibility from Mr. Ping, someone who has held many important responsibilities both in Gabon and abroad. His attitude is being heavily questioned. And so yes, today we are not in the state of mind that we have always been. But if Mr. Ping crosses the line, he will be arrested. And this red line is well-known. If a Gabonese falls, he will answer,” Government Spokesman, Alain-Claude Bilie By Nze told a news conference.

On the other hand, Ping has demanded the right figures of the elections to be released and further questioned the government’s commitment to dialogue.

“Mr. Ping in his previous roles, including head of the African Union Commission, is a person dedicated to dialogue and convinced of its importance. So the concept of dialogue is no stranger to him. Moreover, how are we to envision such a meeting when to this day, the truth has not yet been restored and the country does not have a legitimate political authority as its leader to reconcile the Gabonese people?” said Ping’s spokesman, Jean Gaspard.

More than a 1,000 people were arrested in the deadly riots following the announcement of the election results. The National Assembly building was burned and badly damaged in the protests.

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