Teachers affiliated with the Syndicat de l'Éducation Nationale (SENA) labor union have announced a nationwide strike from Tuesday, April 23, to Friday, April 26, to call for higher salaries and improved working conditions. The announcement comes days after students staged nationwide protests the government's proposed education reforms. Although the SENA union has not called for demonstrations, associated gatherings are possible during the work stoppage.
A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are to be expected near any demonstrations. Clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.
The government suspended classes across the country from April 11-18 due to student protests against the education reforms. Thousands of students took to the streets in Libreville, Franceville, Lambaréné, Makokou, Moanda, Port-Gentil, and Oyem to protest the proposed government policies, with clashes reported in Port Gentil on April 8 and in Libreville on April 11. A draft of the reforms was released in March, which would reduce the number of students eligible for government grants, place a maximum age for access to the funds at 19, and require applicants to score relatively high on school exams (at least 12 points out of a maximum of 20). Prime Minister Julien Nkogue Bekale has defended the changes, stating that the government is facing economic difficulties.
Individuals in Gabon are advised to monitor developments to the situation and avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution.
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