Gabon is the latest African country to shut down the internet as post-election tensions grow in the country. Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Chad andRepublic of Congo are all examples of countries that blocked internet services during recent polls. Ghana’s police chief was also sharply criticized earlier this year for suggesting that social media platforms be blocked during the upcoming general election in December.

Gabon’s results were released late on Aug. 31 night, a day late, prompting clashes. Ping’s headquarters were bombed, and protestors broke down the national assembly’s gate and set it on fire. At least two people were killed according to the opposition, and police arrested at least 1,000 people during the unrest.

The president’s office has since accused Ping of coordinating and planning the clashes, and asked him “to call off his thugs and stop vandalizing the city.”

Speaking to the press on Thursday (Sept. 1), Bongo reiterated his distress about the election riots. “Democracy doesn’t sit well with self-proclaimed victory, with groups formed to cause destruction,” he said. “Democracy is not compatible with an attack on [the building] of national TV and on parliament.” Despite the internet shutdown, Bongo and Ping were both able to use social media platforms on Sept. 1 to call for unity, upholding the rule of law, and to pray for those who were killed, injured or jailed during the clashes.

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