Participants in the ongoing three-week strike at the Ministry of Economy have escalated their action, and announced on Monday, June 19, that they would continue their strike until further notice. Civil servants announced that they will cease all activities and are ending the provision of minimum service, which had been in place for the past three weeks. Protesters are demanding the payment of their bonuses, which are reportedly past due by four months, as well as better working conditions. Negotiations held with the Minister on June 16 were unsuccessful. The strike is likely to continue until protesters’ demands are met.
Numerous protests have taken place in Gabon in recent months, mostly over socioeconomic issues and to denounce government austerity policies. In May, the "Dynamic Unity" (Dynamique unitaire) union called for weekly strikes in the public and private sectors. An umbrella group of unions has called for an indefinite strike in Port-Gentil starting June 12, to denounce the high cost of living, as well as the increase in taxes, oil products, gas, and water prices.
The country's economy has suffered from the drop in global oil prices, upon which most of the country's revenues depend. Port-Gentil, the economic capital where oil activities are concentrated, has been especially hard-hit.
Individuals present in Gabon are advised to monitor developments to the situation and to avoid any related protests due to the possibility of violence and the potential involvement of security forces to disperse crowds.
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