Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Post-Election Civil Disturbance in Gabon

The U.S. Embassy wishes to inform U.S. citizens about the strong possibility of demonstrations and civil disturbance after the Gabonese Constitutional Court announces its ruling regarding the disputed Gabonese presidential election results.  The Court’s decision is expected to be announced on or around September 23.

Roads may be blocked and transportation, including commercial air travel, could be disrupted in the event of a return to violent protests.  Mobile and fixed line telecommunications, social media, and internet access could also be disrupted.  Avoid unnecessary travel and remain at or close to home until the risk of civil disturbance has ended.  Make sure you have adequate food, water, fuel, and other necessary supplies for several days in case security conditions require you to stay home.

Following the announcement of the provisional election results on August 31, violent demonstrations, which included arson and looting, took place for several days in Arrondisements 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 in Libreville.  The worst-hit areas were “the PKs,” Charbonnages, Hauts de GueGue, Cocotiers, Nzeng-Ayong, Akebes, and IAI neighborhoods of Libreville.  Similar incidents occurred throughout Gabon.  At the present time, Embassy staff must receive prior authorization to travel to any of the areas that were affected by these recent demonstrations.

Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.  Avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place and exercise caution when in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.

Review your personal security plans, remain aware of your surroundings, including local events, and monitor local news stations for updates.  Be vigilant and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.

For further information:

·    Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).