Gabon accused of crimes against humanity before ICC

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THE HAGUE: Lawyers representing Gabon opposition leader Jean Ping sent a case file to the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor on Thursday, accusing the government of crimes against humanity. The accusation relates to violence that broke out for two days following the controversial reelection of President Ali Bongo in August, a result questioned by the European Union. The opposition claimed 26 people were killed during the riots and protests that begun on August 31, although official government figures put that toll at just three. The file sent to the ICC was “the fruit of three months of investigations carried out in Gabon and abroad, which demonstrate the existence of crimes against humanity committed by the Gabonese authorities,” French lawyer Emmanuel Altit said in a statement. “It transpires that Gabonese government forces launched, in particular on August 31 in Libreville, a planned attack on the civil population aimed at maintaining power” for Bongo, the statement said.

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