An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Conflict and Conflict Resolution, 1945-1996

By John E. Jessup | Go to book overview

G

Gabes.
See Tunisia.

Gabon.
The nation of Gabon straddles the Equator on the west coast of Africa. It is bordered by Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea on the north, Congo on the south and east and the Atlantic Ocean on the west. The original inhabitants were people of the Myéné language group. Gabon was first explored by Portuguese traders in the fifteenth century. The slave trade, although abolished in 1815, flourished until 1880, with indigenous natives collecting slaves from other inland tribes and transporting them down the several rivers to ports where they were collected by Dutch, English, French, Portuguese and other slave traders. In 1886 Gabon was incorporated into the colony of French Congo; in 1910 it became a territory of French Equatorial Africa. In World War II, Gabon was occupied by Free French forces and, in 1946, the country was made an overseas territory of France. On 28 November 1958 Gabon became independent within the French Community, and it gained its complete independence as the Gabon Republic on 17 August 1960. On 17-18 February 1964, the government of President Leon Mba was overthrown, but it was restored to power on 19 February following the arrival of French troops flown in to suppress the insurrection. In May 1968, Gabon was among the first African states to recognize the rebellious state of Biafra (qv). Since that time, Gabon prosperity has managed to overcome most obstacles in spite of the country's one-party political system. One of Gabon's greatest contributions to history is the fact that it was the home for many years of the great medical missionary and humanitarian Albert Schweitzer, who maintained his hospital in Lambarn. A multiparty political system was introduced in 1990, and a new constitution was enacted in 1991. However, student strikes and rioting in January 1990 underlined the problem of the lack of fundamental tools of education. After five students were gunned down by police, rioting spread throughout the tiny country. As the rioting spread and escalated, French troops began the evacuation of foreign nationals (May). When the teachers joined the students on strike, it took until September to get the country's schools open. One teacher was killed in a continuation of the clashes with police in March 1992. Violence continued until after the first multiparty elections which were held in December 1993. Omar Bongo was returned to office in what international observers called a fraudulent

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An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Conflict and Conflict Resolution, 1945-1996
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Preface xi
  • Some Notes on Using This Work xiii
  • Bibliographical Note xv
  • A 1
  • B 49
  • C 101
  • D 147
  • E 173
  • F 197
  • G 223
  • H 269
  • I 299
  • J 353
  • K 371
  • L 415
  • M 439
  • N 501
  • O 541
  • P 557
  • Q 603
  • R 609
  • S 637
  • T 719
  • U 767
  • V 783
  • W 797
  • X 813
  • Y 815
  • Z 825
  • Index 839
  • About the Author 888
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