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Gabon's Bongo names new prime minister

LIBREVILLE (Reuters) - Gabonese President Ali Bongo named the vice-president of the National Assembly Daniel Ona Ondo as his new prime minister on Friday, replacing Raymond Ndong Sima, the presidency said. Ona Ondo, 68, who served as a minister during the 41-year rule of Ali's father Omar Bongo, is a member of the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG). No reason was given for the decision to replace Ndong Sima, who had served as premier for almost two years.

Gabon's president names new PM after local elections

Gabon's President Ali Bongo Ondimba on Friday named a new prime minister, Daniel Ona Ondo, following municipal and regional elections, a presidential spokesman said. "The president of the republic has named by decree Mr Daniel Ona Ondo to the post of prime minister and head of government," Bongo's secretary-general Etienne Massard Kabinda Makaga told journalists. Ona Ondo, who has been serving as first deputy speaker of parliament, replaces Raymond Ndong Sima as government chief in a change that had been widely expected after the poll.

Gabon to close borders due to polls

Gabon to close borders due to polls LIBREVILLE, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Gabon's land and sea borders will be closed between midnight Dec. 13 to midnight Dec. 14, as the Central African country holds its local elections. Interior Minister Jean Francois Ndongou said in a statement released on Tuesday night, "No authorization to enter or leave the country will be issued during this period," the minister affirmed. About 600,000 Gabonese voters are expected to turn out on Dec. 14 to elect departmental and municipal councillors.

'Must try harder': teachers hit out at Gabon government

Classrooms stuffed with 100 students, teachers striking over woeful pay and pupils taking to the streets in protest: Gabon's education system is far from top of the class. The government has temporarily shut public schools in the hope of containing protests that erupted when students returned for the new academic year in October, but the move has failed to cool a torrent of anger around the education system.

Gabon investigation unmasks 3,000 fake government employees

LIBREVILLE (Reuters) - A corruption investigation in Gabon has revealed the existence of about 3,000 fake civil servants who receive monthly government salaries despite holding no official positions, officials said. The tiny, oil-rich Central African nation's bloated civil service employs about 70,000 workers and serves a population of 1.5 million. "The beneficiaries regularly received monthly salaries despite not belonging to any ministry," State Prosecutor Sidonie Flore Ouwe said on Wednesday.

Ten dead, 20 missing as boat sinks off Gabon

LIBREVILLE (Reuters) - Ten people drowned and another 20 remain unaccounted for after a boat carrying West African clandestine migrants sank off the coast of Gabon, a police official said on Friday. The boat had left Nigeria and was within 15 minutes of arriving in Gabon's capital Libreville when it went down late on Tuesday night. Gabonese authorities rescued 23 survivors and the search continued into Friday.

In Gabon, fear of ritual crime sparks social media campaign

The discovery of a young girl's body on a Libreville beach last month shocked the city and reignited the debate over ritual killings in Gabon, sparking outrage on social media sites and forcing President Ali Bongo Ondimba to react. The young girl disappeared after going swimming. Her battered body was discovered the next day, several hundred metres away. Her body was badly mutilated, and while there's no proof she was the victim of a ritual killing, the fear of such crimes here has led to her case being widely publicised.

Gabon jails activist for defaming ally of president

LIBREVILLE (Reuters) - A prominent environmental activist was sentenced to six months in prison for defamation in Gabon, his lawyer said on Friday, after he accused an ally of the president of secretly owning the local unit of commodities giant Olam International. Marc Ona Essangui said during a television broadcast that President Ali Bongo's chief of staff, Liban Souleymane, controlled Olam Gabon, which is developing timber, palm oil and rubber projects in the tiny Central African nation.
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