Gabon. According to
Countryaah, President Ali Ben Bongo, who in 2009 succeeded his
father Omar Bongo as head of state, met parties and
organizations in January to discuss the economic and
political situation. One theme concerned the possibility of
using biometric technology, such as fingerprints, to
identify voters in the future. The 2009 presidential
election and the 2011 parliamentary elections were followed
by unrest following accusations of cheating.
Prosecutors reported in September that up to 3,000 people
received state salaries even though they lacked employment.
Crime syndicate suspects are behind the scam with ghost
employees. Over the past ten years, the oil-rich Gabon civil
administration has swelled and doubled to 70,000 people.
According to the non-profit organization Transparency
International, which combats corruption, the government is
suspected of buying political support by offering government
During the year there were reports of ritual murders,
often on young girls who were found mutilated.
Demonstrations were conducted and the president was urged to
intervene more strongly against the custom. Some
practitioners believe that human and animal body parts can
have healing and magical powers.
The country's national park authority, the nature
conservation group WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) and
the World Wildlife Fund WWF raised an alarm in February
about extensive poaching of forest elephants in Gabon.
Almost half of Africa's approximately 100,000 forest
elephants are found in Gabon, which wants to invest more in
tourism in line with falling oil production.