GABON (Country risk rating: High); 15 December; Countrywide strike action continues amid fuel shortages

An open-ended strike launched by the National Organisation of Oil Employees (ONEP) on 1 December has resulted in countrywide fuel and gas shortages in Gabon on 15 December. Low fuel supplies are significantly affecting domestic travel in the country. Cities currently affected by shortages include the capital, Libreville, and the city of Port-Gentil. The open-ended industrial action follows failed negotiations between ONEP and the government in late November. The Gabonese Refining Company (SOGARA), the only refinery in the country, has been closed since the start of the strike. The widespread fuel and gas shortages in Gabon are a consequence of this closure. Sustained domestic travel disruptions are anticipated in the short- to medium-term, particularly as further fuel stations close. There are additional concerns that potential fuel shortages may incite anti-government unrest across the country, including in major urban centres. Such events, should they occur, are assessed as being at a heightened threat of turning violent, as Gabonese security forces are known to forcefully disperse any form of public gatherings which are perceived to be anti-government in nature. Persons in Gabon should anticipate delays at both major and secondary transportation nodes for the duration of the industrial action. Clients are advised to maintain a flexible itinerary in order to mitigate any adverse effects that the fuel shortages may have on their travel plans. Furthermore, clients are further advised to avoid all large public gatherings as a precaution.

Information from Red24