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Gabon: Situation returns to normal in Libreville after armed incident June 16 /update 1

Opposition politician Minko arrested in Libreville June 16 after issuing an ultimatum for the departure of President Bongo; increased security expected in the city

20 juin 09h30 UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 16/6/2017, 12h00 until 17/6/2017, 11h59 (Africa/Libreville). COUNTRY/REGION Libreville


Opposition politician (and former presidential candidate) Roland Désiré Aba'a Minko was arrested in Libreville late on Friday, June 16, several hours after armed supporters stormed local television stations and broadcast a message from Minko issuing an ultimatum for President Ali Bongo to step down within 72 hours. According to local reports, Minko subsequently sought refuge in the local European Union delegation and refused to leave, claiming that he had a bomb in his possession. He eventually gave himself up and is currently in custody; the bomb threat is believed to have been false. No injuries were reported as a result of the incident. Although the situation has largely returned to normal in the city, an increased security presence should be expected.


Shortly after 11:00 (local time) on June 16, armed men stormed four local television stations to broadcast a message recorded by Minko in which he demanded the departure of President Bongo and claimed to have set bombs in various government buildings. Minko also asserted that Jean Ping, the second-place finisher in last year's controversial election, was the legitimate leader of the country. However, Jean Ping issued a statement denouncing the action. 

Widespread unrest followed the August 2016 presidential elections, which saw President Ali 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.


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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