21:35 GMT +317 March 2018
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    French Nationals Gone Missing in Conflict-Torn Gabon

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    France does not know the whereabouts of some of its nationals in Gabon days after a wave of post-electoral violence hit its former African colony, the French foreign minister said Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Gabon was shaken last week by clashes between security forces and supporters of opposition candidate Jean Ping, who lost to incumbent President Ali Bongo.

    "Arrests have been made in the past few days. France has had no news from several of its compatriots," Jean-Marc Ayrault said in a statement.

    "It expresses deep concern in this regard and demands that it be allowed to exercise consular protection under the Vienna Convention," he added.

    Ayrault welcomed the decision by the African Union to help the rival parties resolve their electoral dispute and promised France's full support to this initiative. France has maintained significant presence in the country after it became independent in 1960.


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