Government critics in Gabon have denounced the visit to the country of French president, Emmanuel Macron.
According to the critics, Macron's visit is being seen as a way to support President Ali Bongo elected under controversial conditions in 2016 and likely candidate for re-election this year.
"That the Gabonese know how to defend themselves from a double oppression. That is to say, from France and then from the Bongo PDG clan. If we are not able to defend ourselves against this double oppression and if we spend our time complaining and whining in a certain way, we will not manage to get out of this double stranglehold", admits Bertrand Bouanga, a teacher at Omar Bongo University.
The French president is in Gabon to participate in the One Forest Summit which aims to advance the preservation and sustainable management of tropical forests.
"We have the impression that there is a form of hypocrisy around this climate issue. It is used as a gimmick to support a dictatorship, because the Gabonese regime is considered a dictatorship, and we believe that France, through the arrival of Macron in Gabon, is simply supporting the Bongo dictatorship", denounced Orca Mouellé, a journalist and government critic.
After Gabon, Emmanuel Macron will be visiting Angola, Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo where he will have the opportunity to test the "new relationship" that he is calling for with a continent where France's influence is constantly declining.
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