Security measures have been increased around government buildings in the capital Libreville since Friday, June 16. The decision was made after armed supporters, reportedly affiliated with opposition politician and former presidential candidate Roland Désiré Aba'a Minko, stormed several local television stations in the capital earlier in the day and broadcast a message recorded by Minko.
The broadcast implored Gabonese citizens to revolt, issuing an ultimatum for President Ali Bongo to step down within 72 hours. Minko also claimed in the message to have set bombs in various government buildings and asserted that Jean Ping, the second-place finisher in last year's controversial election, was the legitimate leader of the country. Ping has since issued a statement denouncing Minko’s actions. Minko was arrested in Libreville late on Friday.
Widespread unrest followed the August 2016 presidential elections, which saw Bongo reelected by a narrow margin amid allegations of a rigged vote. Although the security situation has since largely stabilized, the International Criminal Court (ICC) is scheduled to arrive in the country June 20 to carry out a preliminary two-day investigation into claims of post-election violence, which could potentially stir up unrest.
All those present in Libreville are advised to closely monitor developments to the situation and avoid all public gatherings due to the risk of violence, which can flare up with little warning.
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