ICC Chief Prosecutor Bensouda says opening initial probe into Gabon unrest

ICC Chief Prosecutor Bensouda says opening initial probe into Gabon unrest

The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) said on Thursday she has begun a preliminary examination into the situation in Gabon at the request of the country’s government.

Fatou Bensouda said in a statement she would review available information before deciding whether to open a formal investigation.

Gabon’s President Ali Bongo, whose family has ruled the oil-producing central African country for nearly five decades, was sworn in for a second term on Tuesday.

His narrow and disputed victory in the August 27th elections sparked violent protests in the capital, Libreville, and other towns, killing six people.

Opposition leader Jean Ping said the election was rigged and made a petition which the Constitutional Court also declined for a recount and ratified the results insisting Mr Bongo indeed won the elections.

Ping rejected the court ruling as biased.

The European Union said doubts about the integrity of the process were legitimate adding it found anomalies in Bongo’s stronghold province of Haut-Ogooue, where he won 95 percent of the vote on a 99.9 percent turnout.

The United States acknowledged the ruling, calling for details of its proceedings to be made public while France called for a recount.

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