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Gabon: curfew maintained but relaxed

Gabon: curfew maintained but relaxed
Gabon's new strongman, General Brice Oligui Nguema, attends his inauguration as Gabon's interim president in Libreville on September 4, 2023.   -  
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The military who overthrew Ali Bongo Ondimba, Gabon's 14-year incumbent on August 30, have announced an easing of the curfew that had been in force for over a month, the presidency told AFP on Thursday.

This measure had been introduced by Mr. Bongo's government on the evening of the August 26 presidential election, from 6pm to 6am local time (5pm to 5am GMT), then maintained by the military, who reduced it for the first time on September 11, but only in Libreville, the capital, and its suburbs, from 10pm to 6am.

The curfew has been maintained, but reduced from midnight to 5 a.m. "throughout the country", announced Colonel Ulrich Manfoumbi Manfoumbi, spokesman for the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions (CTRI), in a statement broadcast on state television on Wednesday evening.

The decision was justified by "the concern to relieve economic operators in all sectors, and in view of the imperatives linked to the start of the new school year", he said. The information was confirmed to AFP on Thursday by the presidential spokesman.

The army overthrew Ali Bongo, in power since his first election in 2009 following the death of his father Omar Bongo Ondimba, just moments after he was proclaimed re-elected in an election deemed fraudulent by the military and the opposition.

General Brice Oligui Nguema, proclaimed president of the transition, immediately promised to return power to civilians through elections at the end of an unspecified period.

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