Internet Back In Gabon But Post-poll Tensions Rife


Internet back in Gabon but post-poll tensions rife

LIBREVILLE, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News -5th Sep,2016) - Internet services in Gabon partially resumed Monday after a five-day blackout following days of violence and chaos sparked by President Ali Bongo's disputed re-election.

Post-election unrest has claimed at least seven lives in the oil-rich central African nation, ruled by the Bongo family since 1967. Ali Bongo's rival Jean Ping, a veteran diplomat who has held a top African Union job and served as foreign minister, has already vowed to challenge the result.

Bongo was declared victorious by a razor-thin margin of just under 6,000 votes, but Ping has insisted the vote was rigged and on Friday claimed victory for himself. He is calling for a recount -- something the Gabonese authorities have so far refused to do.

On Monday, the internet was accessible but social media networks remained blocked, according to AFP journalists in the capital Libreville.

Banks and shops re-opened in the seaside city and taxis returned to the streets.

But many shops offered only limited provisions as the unrest stalled deliveries. The violence after the announcement of the results on Wednesday has sparked international concern with top diplomats calling for restraint as rights groups raised alarm over the use of excessive force.

At least seven people have died, according to an AFP count, and some 800 people have been arrested in the capital UN chief Ban Ki-moon spoke to both Bongo and Ping on Sunday and "deplored the loss of life", a UN statement said.

"He expressed concern about the continuing inflammatory messages being disseminated and called for an immediate end to all acts of violence in the country," it said.