The Gabonese government has banned an opposition march that protests the presence of French troops in the country.
The interior minister justified the ban in a letter to the leader of the opposition Gabonese Patriotic Front, citing defense treaties signed by Gabon with France.
The protests, it said, would jeopardize the two countries’ “excellent relationship.”
The Gabonese Patriotic Front had planned a “peaceful march” from the French military base in Gabon’s capital, Libreville, on Tuesday.
Gerard Ella Nguema, the party’s leader, told reporters that he would appeal the decision to the constitutional court, which he called unconstitutional.
The protest ban comes amid a wave of anti-French sentiment in West Africa.
Five opposition leaders were arrested earlier this month after a similar demonstration in Chad’s capital, N’Djamena.
Gabon hosts French forces, whose missions are focused on training African troops and French soldiers in tropical zones.
It should be recalled that thousands of Chadians embarked on anti-French protests launched by the opposition coalition Wakit Tama on Saturday, May 14.
Protesters are against France’s military presence in the country as well as interim President Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, who has been in charge since his father died in 2021.
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