- Gabon’s ministers have held an emergency meeting today in preparation to fill the president’s position in the West Africa country following the death of the President Omar Bongo at a Spanish Clinic over the weekend.
The government official said the ministers voted unanimously to turn to the constitutional court, which is expected to endorse the President of Senate Francine Rogombe as the head of state. Ms Rogombe is to be sworn in as interim head of state on Wednesday.
The Gabonese constitution allows the Head of Senate to assume powers as Acting President for a duration of maximum 90 days, which are to be used to organise elections.
Africa’s longest serving President Bongo died of cardiac arrest at a Spanish hospital where he had been treated for weeks. The late president's body is expected to be returned to Gabon on Thursday from Spain.
Since President Bongo checked into the Spanish hospital in May, government officials had denied that he was ill. They initially denied he was in the hospital at all, then later said he had been admitted to the clinic only for a check-up.
The government has announced 30 days of mourning for the President.
Reports said security forces patrolled the Gabonese capital Libreville overnight, where the mayor has banned large gatherings and ordered all bars and nightclubs closed, in fear of an uprising against government.
President Bongo was the longest serving head of state, having held on to power in Gabon with an authoritarian hand since 1967. Fuelling his state and personal economy with a large oil production, Mr Bongo has been reluctant to enter any real democratisation process in Gabon.
In Gabon, the strongly government controlled press has not been able to report on the President's serious illness. The only indication on Mr Bongo's retirement from power came on 6 May, when government announced that Mr Bongo would be suspending his activities as head of state.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.