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Gabonese president ‘opens arms’ for peace talks with opposition

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Gabonese president Ali Bongo Ondimba has again expressed readiness to meet with opposition leaders to sustain peace after the post-election violence.

The president’s spokesperson, Alain-Claude Bilie-By-Nzé, announced that Ali Bongo wants to meet with them to avoid further deaths.

“President Bongo is ready to meet all candidates in the last presidential election, including Ping, so that no more Gabonese dies in the claim for democracy which the law is in place to resolve,” the spokesperson said on Tuesday night on state television.

President Bongo is ready to meet all candidates in the last presidential election, including Ping, so that no more Gabonese dies in the claim for democracy which the law is in place to resolve.

He also condemned calls for violence which he describes as “irresponsible”.

“These calls for political violence have never been seen in our country. Promising instability if the Court’s ruling is not favorable,” Bilie-By-Nzé claimed.

“The motive of these people is to get more victims, as if the death toll already registered and the grief faced by many Gabonese families are not enough,” he added.

The main opposition candidate, former AU Chairperson, Jean Ping, has applied to the Constitutional Court to authorise a recount in a province where President Ali Bongo won 95 percent of the votes on a 99.9 percent turnout.

He has openly proclaimed that if there is no recount of votes, the country will face “profound and sustained instability”.

The court is expected to deliver its verdict by Friday, September 23.

Jean Ping lost the August 27 election by less than 6,000 votes.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Abiy Ahmed wins the 2019 Nobel Peace Award

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for immersly efforts to end two decades of hostility with longtime enemy Eritrea.

Though Africa’s youngest leader still faces big challenges, he has in under two years in power begun political and economic reforms that promise a better life for many in impoverished Ethiopia and restored ties with Eritrea that had been frozen since a 1998-2000 border war.

“We are proud as a nation,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement, hailing a “collective win for all Ethiopians, and a call to strengthen our resolve in making Ethiopia – the new horizon of hope – a prosperous nation for all.”

It said the prize was meant to recognize “all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.”

The Nobel Committee’s decision appeared designed to encourage the peace process, echoing the 1994 peace prize shared by Israeli and Palestinian leaders and the 1993 award for moves towards reconciliation in South Africa, said Dan Smith, head of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

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