Gabon's government has barred opposition leaders from leaving the
country, after a disputed presidential election on August 30 was won by
Ali Ben Bongo, the son of longtime leader Omar Bongo.
Minister Jean-Francois Ndongou says the ban was put into place while
the government investigates whether opposition members played a role in
last week's post-election violence.
|Gabonese police patrol during unrest on streets of Libreville, 04 Sep 2009|
One defeated candidate, Paul Mba Abessole, said he was not allowed to board a flight to Ivory Coast on Wednesday.
government says at least three people were killed and more than 300
arrested in rioting and looting in the oil hub of Port Gentil, before
authorities imposed a curfew in the city.
A coalition of 17
former presidential candidates is claiming at least 10 people were
killed in the violence and that the election was rigged. The group is
calling for an international investigation into the deaths and a vote
Opposition candidates included former
Interior Minister Andrew Mba Obame, the runner-up in the election, and
opposition leader Pierre Mamboundou, who finished third. Both took
just over 25 percent of the vote, while Mr. Bongo won 42 percent.
Ali Ben Bongo's father, Omar Bongo ruled Gabon for more than 40 years, until his death in June.
accused him of using the nation's oil wealth to finance a lavish
lifestyle for himself and for family members and political allies while
the vast majority of Gabon's people lived in poverty.
The younger Bongo had been a Cabinet minister in his father's government since 1989.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.