Libreville, May 5, 2014
Dear Mr., Mrs.
You have been approached by Mr. Richard Attias to take part, in Gabon, to the third edition of the New York Forum Africa ( NYFA ) from the 23 to 25 of May 2014 , whose ultimate goal is still very much the glorification of Ali Bongo. As with the two previous editions, we strongly condemn this scam. Above all, ask yourself honestly the question: what is the record of the two previous editions? What have they actually brought to Africa in general and to the people of Gabon in particular?
We are convinced, in many ways, that we share the values you defend personally. Like you, we believe in democracy. Like you, we are committed to freedom of expression. Like you, we believe that the state must be strong and just, it must protect the weak and ensure the security of the powerful. Like you, we know that Africa will eventually wake up and offer its people the quality of life they legitimately aspire to have Like you, we support scientific, technological and societal progress.
However, we must remind you that Gabon is a republic and not a dynastic monarchy. We have the duty to remind you that Ali Bongo succeeded his father who ruled Gabon for more than four decades, in scabrous conditions and by making use of force. We have a duty to remind you that the arrival of Ali Bongo at the head of Gabon was imposed on the price of Gabonese blood, who fell under the bullets of an army transformed into a private militia and led by members of the Ali Bongo family. These historical and verifiable facts cannot be ignored by you.
We will not insult you by providing a comprehensive picture of the situation of human rights and broader governance in Gabon, because we are convinced that you know it as much as we do.
We firmly believe that you know that Gabon is a country where corruption, embezzlement of public funds and illicit enrichment, have been elevated into principles of governance.
We are confident that you know that the Gabonese justice system is used for political and personal purposes.
We are convinced that you know that the press is subject to systematic harassment and repression from a National Communication Council at the regime’s orders.
We are sure that you have heard of the barbaric practice of human sacrifice euphemistically called “ritual crimes“. Yes, we are convinced that you know that since the advent of Ali Bongo to power, we are witnessing a resurgence of ritual crimes whose perpetrators and sponsors enjoy total impunity. Should we tell you that these crimes consist in the removal, while the victims are still alive, of organs (eyes, tongue, clitoris, lungs, heart, blood ...) for fetishist purposes?
We know that the ritual murders are sponsored by those in power, in search of glory, and money. Should we tell you that ministers of the current government, known to be among the closest to Ali Bongo, have been named in these cases without Ali Bongo being moved in the least? That in April 2013 , the government banned the organization of a peaceful march of the civil society against these human sacrifices , and that the forces of oppression dispersed and detained protesters of the march which despite all, was held on Saturday, 11 May, 2013 ?
We inform you that our fight against the scourge of ritual crimes in Gabon has earned us the support of the hacktivists Anonymous in a warning message sent on 13 April, 2013 to those in power, and that we continue to fight for justice to be done.
We are therefore asking what sense your presence in Gabon will make. We are asking ourselves how much those who come to the support of Ali Bongo respect the rights of citizens and human life. We are left wondering if the values you profess are universal, whether what is valid in other latitudes is also valid in our country. How should we interpret the fact that you are ready to come endorse an anti-democratic illegitimate and brutal power that deprives many Gabonese of their civil and political rights solely because they have stated loudly and clearly their opposition to a monarchical devolution of power?
How to explain that you are indifferent to the fate of our children slain for fetish purposes? How is it that some prefer to close their eyes to the fact that our children are crammed into classrooms of over a hundred students , Ali Bongo having not seen fit to build one single school since his accession to power, has come to requisition the locker room of a football stadium to serve as a classroom ?
How to understand that you are ready to be associated with a costly event in a country where women still give birth on the floor and where the students of the only university in the country are studying in more than deplorable conditions (see report by France 24 , Les Observateurs, aired on 6 April, 2013 ) ?
Convinced that you carry in you the noble humanity values of freedom , of equal opportunity and that you place human dignity above all , we ask you to reconsider in all conscience, your participation to the NYFA .
We appeal to your conscience, your humanity and ask that you refrain from taking part in this event which is a pure communication operation to the glory of Ali Bongo. Except, of course, if you think that the results of the first two editions of the NYFA were relevant and tangible. For our part, we really do not see how these editions have benefited the people of the world, of Africa and of Gabon. We know you have a sense of history and ask you to analyze the historical significance of your participation in this event. Because the Gabonese people would be honored to welcome you in other circumstances, we affirm that your participation in the New York Forum Africa will be for us to take an openly hostile position against this people.
This letter may seem familiar to you because its content is substantially that of the last year’s . Nothing surprising, because the situation has not changed. Quite the contrary!
We are committed to systematically do all we can to prevent the scam orchestrated by Mr. Attias in favor of Ali Bongo and his family.
For good practice, we inform you that the contents of this letter will be communicated to the press, civil societies and human right organizations worldwide.
We hope you understand our approach.
Please accept, Madam, Sir, the assurances of our highest consideration.
For the Dynamique Citoyenne Gabonaise (Gabonese Convention of Trade Unions from different Sectors), Simon NDONG EDZO - contact: +241 06 87 15 49
For the citizen movement " Ça Suffit Comme Ça," Marc Ona Essangui , Goldman Price 2009 - contact: +241 07 29 41 40
For the Gabonese Indignants Front, Blanche Simonny Abegue , President of the 3rd Forum of the Indignants - contact: +241 06 49 08 39