Gabon Unrest 2011

Meyo-Kye, North Gabon, 2 February, 2011. Banner reads: "In Tunisia, Ben Ali left. In Gabon, Ali Ben out."

Meyo-Kye, North Gabon, 2 February, 2011. Banner reads: "In Tunisia, Ben Ali left. In Gabon, Ali Ben out."

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The West African nation of Gabon is experiencing a popular revolt against the rule of President Ali Bongo Ondimba, son of long-time strongman Omar Bongo who died only months before his son was elected in October 2009. Citing allegations of election fraud, opposition leaders formed a breakaway government on January 26, 2011, with former presidential candidate André Mba Obame as the self-declared president.

Thousands of opposition supporters took to the streets in the nation’s capital, Libreville, on January 29, and were faced with violent suppression from the army. Protests have spread to other cities, and crackdowns have become increasingly fierce as the current wave of popular protests demanding free elections sweeping the African continent (Tunisia, Egypt and Côte d'Ivoire) has made the Gabonese government especially wary. The “unofficial” government went into hiding in the offices of the UNDP.

Gabon is a former French colony, and an oil-rich nation with a population of only 1.4 million people. Adding to the political turmoil are allegations of corruption and a transfer of funds from Omar Bongo to the political parties of the current French government. There are less than 100,000 internet users in the country, and roughly only 25,000 Gabonese on Facebook.

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What we do: Global Voices bloggers report on how citizens use the Internet and social media to make their voices heard, often translating from other languages. Check back for further developments to this page.

Featured Global Voices Posts – Gabon Unrest 2011

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02 Jan – From Sidi Bouzid to Kinshasa: Francophone Africa in 2011


11 Nov – Gabon: Bongo Indulges With Football Match Against Brazil
10 May – Gabon: Parliamentary Immunity Removal Could Spark Protests
11 Mar – Gabon: Two Rival Presidents, One Accused of Embezzlement
28 Feb - France: Demonstration in Paris Against Gabon Dictatorship
22 Feb – Gabon: Mourning Unrest's First Casualty, as Bongo Meets Sarkozy
15 Feb – Gabon: Leaderless Opposition?
11 Feb – Gabon: Students Protest, Army Deployed
09 Feb – Gabon: Protests Stifled as Official and ‘Unofficial’ Governments Face Off
04 Feb – Gabon: The Invisible Revolt
26 Jan – Gabon: Opposition Leader Takes Oath as New President (Interview with Ben Moubamba)

From the Global Voices Archives

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09 Oct 2009 – Gabon’s bloggers struggle to take hold
22 Sep 2009 – Gabon: Opposition Continues to Fight Election Result
31 Jul 2009 – Gabon: Presidential Candidate Uses Social Media in Historic Election
08 Jun 2009 – Gabon: On President Omar Bongo's death
11 May 2009 – Paris court investigates three African leaders


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For the latest updates follow the Global Voices Twitter List: Gabon Unrest 2011.

Key Tweeters: Julie Owono, Global Voices Gabon Author

Hashtags: #Gabon | #revogab | #Alidegage




  • Opposition government's Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Ben Moubamba has Youtube video archives since 2009.
  • YouTube channel AfricaWeWish has two recent videos from Gabon, including one of unrest at the university, and this one from February 10, showing military deployments in different parts of Libreville:

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