Gabon Election UN Secretary-General 'deeply concerned' at reports of violence after Gabon elections

The UN chief has called on all concerned actors to refrain from further acts of violence that could undermine peace and stability of the country.

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play President Ali Bongo was declared winner of the hotly-contested presidential election. (UN/Staton Winter)
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The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern over reports of arson and clashes between protesters and security forces Gabon's capital, Libreville after the announcement of the provisional results of Gabon's presidential election.

President Ali Bongo was declared winner of the hotly-contested presidential election.

Opposition leader Jean Ping said on Thursday that two people were killed and many wounded when the presidential guard and police attacked his party's headquarters overnight, Al Jazeera reports.

"They attacked around 1:00 am (0000 GMT). It is the Republican Guard. They were bombarding with helicopters and then they attacked on the ground. There are 19 people injured, some of them very seriously," said Ping.

Moments after the poll results were announced, anti-government protesters shouting "Ali must go!" tried to storm the offices of the election commission, AFP reported.

The UN chief has called on all concerned actors to refrain from further acts of violence that could undermine peace and stability of the country.

In a statement released on his behalf ban called on the authorities to ensure that the national security forces exercise maximum restraint in their response to protests.

“He reiterates his call on all political leaders to address their differences peacefully and to address any disputes they may have through existing constitutional and legal channels,” the spokesperson said.

Earlier in the week Ban spoke with the Gabonese leaders vying for the country's presidency, where he voiced his concerns over early calls on the polls results, outside of any official process and had urged them to impress upon their supporters the need to exercise restraint.

The Secretary-General’s spokesperson said that in the calls Ban commended the peaceful holding of the presidential election last Saturday, and welcomed the high voter turnout and the presence of a large number of national and international observers.

The statement also noted that the UN chief has asked his Special Representative for Central Africa, Abdoulaye Bathily, to accompany Gabon's political stakeholders in their efforts to calm the situation and to peacefully resolve the contentious issues emanating from the electoral process. It added that the Secretary-General will continue to monitor the situation closely.”

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