Gabon Television releases video of gunfire and a blast at the National Assembly as demonstrators protested against the election results. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
NATURAL ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Gabon Television video shows the scenes of chaos around the National Assembly shortly after the results of a disputed presidential election were announced on Wednesday (August 31). Gunfire could be heard and tear gas was fired at protesters. There was also an explosion and a fire that swept through the National Assembly. Violence erupted across the Central African nation with the announcement of a slim victory for Ali Bongo who was first elected in 2009 after the death of his father Omar, Gabon's president for 42 years. Television stations, supermarkets, shops, and homes were looted in Libreville for two days and unrest also broke out in other cities and in rural areas. Gabonese opposition candidate Jean Ping declared himself president on Friday (September 2). "The whole world knows who is the president of the republic: it's me, Jean Ping," he said. "Our country is moving toward chaos ... Peace can only occur if the truth of the ballot box is restored and respected." Five people died in the ensuing unrest, Bongo's spokesman Alain-Claude Bilie By Nze said on Friday, and up to 1,100 arrests had been made by Thursday (September 1), according to Gabon's interior minister.