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Ali Bongo's opponents unite online

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-09-22

In this edition: Gabon's opposition stokes up an online protest, ecology is at the centre of a Argentina-Uruguay dispute, and a Russian version of the Beatles hit "Let it be" sets the Web ablaze.



In Gabon, the opposition is not giving up. On Saturday, nine out of the 18 presidential election candidates registered proceedings for annulment at the Gabonese constitutional court, opposing Ali Ben Bongo’s victory. Since the results of the vote were announced on September 3, the Internet has become the main ally for his opponents.


The candidate Bruno Moubamba continues to denounce the results of the vote, which he considers ‘questionable’. In these videos available online, he gives a voice to Gabonese citizens, who affirm that ‘dictatorial power’ is taking hold of the country. These Gabonese also denounce violent attacks on the head of state’s political opponents.

This tense situation is the subject of wide discussion on Twitter. Several of the site's users explain that the vote’s runner-up, André Mba Obame, has had to seek refuge in the Cameroonian Embassy to avoid retaliation from those in power. This Net user calls for mobilisation to stop the country falling into the hands of a man whom he describes as a tyrant.


Others look back on the riots which shook the country following Ali Bongo’s election. The opposition site ‘Bongo must go’ is broadcasting several videos like these, in which we see protesters injured by government force, illustrating the new president's abuses of authority, say opponents.


Apart from this official protest, many other Net users are also criticising Ali Bongo’s victory. While waiting for a decision by the Constitutional Court, expected next month, people are using share sites to create derisive portraits of the head of state, as seen in these videos




This week Argentina and Uruguay are doing battle in the International Court of Justice in The Hague. At the centre of this dispute, dating back to 2005, is the construction of paper pulp factories on the Uruguay banks of a river wcrossing the border. Argentina accuses Uruguay of causing ‘irreversible damage to the ecosystem’.


On the website of the Argentine association ‘He Dicho No’, (I said no), the Finnish company Botnia, who operate a factory, is blamed. A protest campaign has been organised. More than 80 songs containing the slogan ‘say no to paper pulp factories’ have been broadcast online.

On Facebook, a protest network has been created. Dozens of groups criticise the ecological damage caused.


Every day the Botnia plant is thought to dump huge quantities of pollutants into the water and air, as explained by several videos available online. This one shows grime invading the river.

Videos of many peaceful marches organised prior to the trial have been broadcast online, in order to denounce what has turned into a major diplomatic conflict between Argentina and Uruguay.


This female protester describes the growing tension between citizens of the two countries.


After product price comparators and mobile phone packages, here is a price comparator of undertakers . For funeral prices, quotes or data about funeral legislation, Net users simply type their post code into the search engine and the site finds the best deal.


McGyver, Happy Days, Dr House and Pierrafeu. Get all the behind-the-scenes gossip on your favourite TV series. The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has just launched the, a website regrouping around 630 interviews with TV legends. Many more interviews are expected for the future.


Just as the Beatle’s greatest hits have been remastered, this video by a Russian amateur male singer performing the famous hit ‘Let it be’ is the buzz video of the moment. With his opera singer look and sailor’s outfit, the singer has quickly become a star of the Web who some are comparing to the this summer's British reality TV singing sensation, Susan Boyle.



Date created : 2009-09-22