Taking note of the official announcement of provisional results of Gabon's presidential election, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed deep concern about reports of arson and clashes between protesters and security forces in the country's capital, Libreville.
According to a statement issued by Mr. Ban's spokesperson, the UN chief also called on all concerned actors to refrain from further acts of violence that could undermine peace and stability of the country.
“He also calls on the authorities to ensure that the national security forces exercise maximum restraint in their response to protests,” the spokesperson said in the statement. “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.”
Yesterday, in telephone conversations with the Gabonese leaders vying for the country's presidency, the Secretary-General had 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 statement today 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.