Secretary-General Urges Maximum Restraint, Respect for Human Rights Ahead of Gabon Court Ruling on Presidential Elections

SG/SM/18133-AFR/3455
22 September 2016

Secretary-General Urges Maximum Restraint, Respect for Human Rights Ahead of Gabon Court Ruling on Presidential Elections

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

As the Constitutional Court of Gabon prepares to make its ruling on the disputes emanating from the presidential election of 27 August, the Secretary-General calls on the authorities, including the security agencies, to fully respect human rights and fundamental freedoms during this challenging period.

The Secretary-General strongly urges all actors, in particular the political leaders and their followers, to exercise maximum restraint, refrain from any form of violence and remain calm ahead of and after the Court’s ruling.  Any additional loss of life in Gabon is unacceptable.  It is the responsibility of the authorities and political leaders to ensure that the violence witnessed after the announcement of the provisional results of the presidential election on 31 August is not repeated.

The Secretary-General underlines that those who instigate or commit violence must be held accountable.  Disagreements between the parties should be expressed peacefully.

The Secretary-General encourages the victorious candidate to engage in genuine national dialogue towards inclusive democratic governance and the rule of law, including reforms in the management of future elections.  The United Nations stands ready to support these efforts.

For information media. Not an official record.