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France expresses concerns for citizens in Gabon

Associated Press Associated Press 5/09/2016
A burned vehicle sits outside a government building after an election protest in Libreville, Gabon, Thursday Sept. 1, 2016. Gabon's newly re-elected president sought to assert authority Thursday as the presidential guard attacked the opposition candidate's party headquarters overnight, killing at least one person and injuring more than a dozen amid fiery protests that have seen hundreds detained and the internet blocked. (AP Photo/Joel Bouopda) © The Associated Press A burned vehicle sits outside a government building after an election protest in Libreville, Gabon, Thursday Sept. 1, 2016. Gabon's newly re-elected president sought to assert authority Thursday as the presidential guard attacked the opposition candidate's party headquarters overnight, killing at least one person and injuring more than a dozen amid fiery protests that have seen hundreds detained and the internet blocked. (AP Photo/Joel Bouopda)

PARIS — France's foreign minister says the country's authorities have not heard from several French citizens in Gabon in the last few days amid post-presidential election tension.

Jean-Marc Ayrault said in a Monday statement that "some arrests have been made in recent days." He said that France is deeply concerned "and wants to be able to exercise consular protection."

Gabon has been torn by violence since last week, shortly after election officials declared that incumbent President Ali Bongo Ondimba had won the election, a result disputed by opposition candidate Jean Ping.

Clashes quickly broke out in the capital as opposition supporters claimed election fraud, looting and burning buildings.

France supports the African Union's proposal to help both parties settle the situation quickly, according to the statement.

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