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Gabon opposition leader buried in home village

05 May 2015, 09:44

Libreville - Gabon opposition leader Andre Mba Obame, who died last month in Cameroon, was on Monday buried in his home village of Medouneu near the country's border with Equatorial Guinea, a member of his political party said.

Around 1 000 people, including former prime minister Casimir Oye Mba and ex-African Union commission president Jean Ping, attended a mass, which was followed by the funeral, according to Jean-Pierre Owono, a senator and a member of Mba Obame's political party.

Oye Mba and Ping, like Mba Obame, are opponents of Gabon's president Ali Bongo Ondimba.

Mba Obame, who died on April 12, was buried at the entrance to the village, with authorities planning to transform the tomb into a mausoleum and museum.

Long a senior figure in the regime of the late Omar Bongo Ondimba, who presided over the equatorial African nation and its oil wealth for more than 41 years before he died in 2009, Mba Obame went into opposition when the ruling party chose Bongo's son Ali as its presidential candidate.

After confronting Ali Bongo at the polls in August 2009 and being placed third by the constitutional court, Mba Obame joined a number of other opposition leaders in founding the UN party, while still claiming that he had won the vote.

Many of his supporters believe that Mba Obame was poisoned, a rumour that helped fan riots in Libreville when his death was announced.



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