Statement by the Secretary-General on the situation in the Gabonese Republic

I am deeply concerned and saddened about the crisis in the Gabonese Republic provoked by the electoral crisis, in particular the arson attacks and disproportionate response of security agencies that has led to unfortunate loss of life and property.

I understand the frustration of the Gabonese people, and especially the youth, who aspire to better living conditions and democratic reforms. The new government will have to take into account this message and the UN will be there to support these efforts.

It is essential that all political actors and the people of the Gabonese Republic

exercise restraint and overcome their differences by peaceful means in the interest of national unity.

I call on the government to immediately restore communications, especially the Internet, SMS and the independent radio and television.

I also call on the security forces to exercise the utmost restraint and to uphold international standards of human rights. I urge the authorities to release political detainees immediately and unconditionally. Those responsible for acts or incitement to violence will be held accountable.

The UN supports the call of regional and international observers for a transparent verification of election results. I call on the responsible institutions to deal swiftly, transparently and fairly with all complaints related to the presidential election. The Gabonese people deserve a credible electoral process.

New York, 1 September 2016

Source: United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.