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Libreville, Gabon: When President Ali Bongo celebrated Press Freedom Day on May 3, the vast majority of Gabon’s press boycotted the event and held their own meeting elsewhere in Libreville, the capital. Speaking before a handful of pro-government media, Bongo complained that the opposition press demand subsidies but spend their time insulting him, once again demonstrating a 50 year Bongo family tradition of confusing state finances with private assets. “The press is against me,” he lamented. Bongo’s statement underlined the extent to which Gabon’s media landscape is polarized as we head to presidential elections in August.
Sometimes ‘little’ people can make history too. When Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in Tunisia last December he started a blaze that created the Arab Spring. The same may happen with Roland Désiré Aba’a who is on hunger strike against “the French occupation” of his country.
Were the Wades ready to call in European troops to back their bid for a new ‘monoarchy’? According to influential French lawyer and longtime Wade family confident Robert Bourgi, the president’s son asked him, on June 27, to get the French Army to intervene in the country.
Today the head of UN troops in the Ivory Coast, Alain Le Roy, accused loyalist forces of « trickery » because they used a ceasefire “to consolidate their positions” the lapdog press reports. What the press failed to tell us was that when President Laurent Gbagbo offered a ceasefire on Tuesday, rebels and the French army attacked his residence and that they never accepted the ceasefire in the first place.
And, HELLO, when you are at war, you consolidate your positions!
Paris, June 18 : When I was invited to debate on French TV this week about the late Gabonese President Omar Bongo, I thought hard about something good to say about the guy.