Angry protesters on Wednesday, set
fire to Gabonâ€™s national assembly as thousands
of people took to the streets after an announcement that President
Ali Bongo had been re-elected.
The clashes erupted immediately Bongo was declared
the winner of Saturdayâ€™s
poll, with opposition supporters chanting â€œAli
Two people were killed and dozens injured injured as Gabon
security forces stormed the oppositionâ€™s
headquarters early Thursday morning,
a source inside the building said.
â€œThey attacked around 1:00
am (0000 GMT). It is the Republican Guard. They were
bombarding with helicopters and then they attacked on the ground.
There are 19 people injured, some of them very
seriously,â€Â said Ping, who was not at the
party headquarters himself.
The president of the opposition National Union
party, Zacharie Myboto, who was inside the besieged building, said
security forces were hurling tear gas canisters and had opened
â€œFor nearly an hour the building has been
surrounded. They want to enter the buildingâ€¦ it
is extremely violent,â€ he said shortly after the siege
A government spokesman said the operation was to catch
â€œcriminalsâ€ who had earlier set fire
to the parliament building.
â€œArmed people who set fire to the parliament
had gathered at Jean Pingâ€™s headquarters along
with hundreds of looters and thugsâ€¦ they were not
political protesters but criminals,â€â€said
A heavy military and police presence had brought large parts
of Libreville to a standstill and internet access has also been
â€œWe have said that the people of Gabon are in
danger. They (the international community) should come and help us
against the clan (of Bongo),â€ Ping told AFP.
Results of the presidential election were announced
afternoon, handing Bongo a second term and extending the nearly
five decade-long rule by his family.
The results, which gave Bongo 49.8 percent to
Pingâ€™s 48.23 percentÂ remain
â€œprovisionalâ€ until they are approved
by the constitutional court.
The opposition has described the election as fraudulent and
called for voting results from each of Gabonâ€™s
polling stations to be made public to ensure the credibility of
Bongo took power in 2009 in a violence-marred
election that followed the death of his father Omar Bongo, who had
ruled the oil-rich former French colony for 41 years.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for calm and
expressed concern over the clashes and reports of arson, urging
political leaders â€œto address their differences
peacefully and to address any disputes they may have through
existing constitutional and legal channelsâ€, the UN
said in a statement.