Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

US Treasury lashes out at EU tax probes

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Olympic Hangover: festive mood dampened by gloomy economy

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

British professor says 'no shame' in reading romance novels

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Libération:'STOP hunting for burkinis!'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Closing arguments presented in the ICC trial of the Malian Jihadist who destroyed shrines

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Burkini: the never-ending controversy

Read more

THE DEBATE

Biden in Turkey: NATO allies at odds over Syria Kurds, exiled cleric (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Biden in Turkey: NATO allies at odds over Syria Kurds, exiled cleric (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

Video: The European dream of Abidjan street footballers

Read more

Africa

PM denies government mulling emergency powers

Video by Florence VILLEMINOT

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-09-07

In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24, Gabon's Prime Minister Paul Biyoghe Mba has denied his government was considering a state of emergency in the riot-hit city of Port-Gentil, contradicting an earlier statement from his interior minister.

AFP - The death toll in post-election unrest in Gabon's second city stands at three, Interior Minister Jean-Francois Ndongou said Sunday, as he revealed the government is considering emergency powers if violence does not subside.

"The president and the prime minister do not want to put Port-Gentil under a state of siege. We are not yet at that level," Ndongou told local officials in Port-Gentil, which is already under a dusk-to-dawn curfew.


"But if peace, order and harmony are not restored, we are going to solicit authorisation to do so from parliament."

Under the constitution, Gabon's president can, after cabinet discussion and consulation with parliament, decree a state of emergency or a state of siege, thus assuming "special powers under conditions set out by law".

"A state of siege is serious," warned Ndongou, who spoke of a potential lockdown of the city. "There would be a ban on movement without special authorisation. Do not turn Port-Gentil into a battlefield."

Together with the defence minister, Ndongou on Sunday put the death toll in Port-Gentil at three since violence erupted on Thursday following the declaration of Ali Bongo as winner of the August 30 presidential vote.

Of the fatalities, "not one death is due to the presence of the military," he said, adding that he was ready to accept "an international investigation" into the unrest.

AFP had previously put the death toll at at least two, based on statements from relatives of the victims. Ndongou did not say how many people were injured or arrested.

Bongo, 50, is the son of former president Omar Bongo, who was Africa's longest-serving ruler until his death in June.

Date created : 2009-09-06

COMMENT(S)